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[Bug 1351092] Re: Configuration of the Droid Sans Fallback font
** Bug watch added: Debian Bug tracker #729752
** Also affects: fonts-android (Debian) via
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Configuration of the Droid Sans Fallback font
Status in “fonts-android” package in Ubuntu:
Status in “language-selector” package in Ubuntu:
Status in “fonts-android” source package in Trusty:
Status in “language-selector” source package in Trusty:
Status in “fonts-android” package in Debian:
fontconfig configuration settings, aimed at making the Droid Sans
Fallback font be used to render Chinese, fails sometimes in an
unpredictable way. This seems to be caused by the file 65-droid-sans-
fonts.conf, which is currently installed by fonts-droid. Consequently
that file is proposed to be dropped from fonts-droid. Some fontconfig
files in language-selector are proposed to be changed accordingly.
* One of the AR PL UMing fonts is sometimes used instead of Droid Sans
Fallback in case of a Chinese locale.
* Buggy rendering of Chinese contents in qt apps in case of a
non-Chinese locale (bug #1334495).
* Droid Sans Fallback can't be used in Ubuntu Touch (see discussion at
Since the behaviour is not always buggy, it's hard to present a proper
test case. Instead I have to refer to the discussions in this bug
report as well as the above mentioned bugs.
While the fonts-droid package installs a bunch of fonts for various
languages, only the Droid Sans Fallback font is used as part of
Ubuntu's default font configuration. The regression risk for Chinese
users is reasonably very low. There is a risk, though, that this
change leads to surprise changes for individual users who make use of
other fonts but Droid Sans Fallback. There is no indication that those
other fonts are widely used.
There are currently several open issues related to the use of Droid
Sans Fallback for rendering Chinese content:
* Two mixed fonts when rendering Chinese in KDE/QT apps with Droid
* Droid Sans no longer preferred font for Chinese
* Chinese in Ubuntu Touch should use Heiti style sans serif font
Unlike e.g. fonts-wqy-microhei, the fonts-droid package installs a
bunch of fonts, of which only one is needed for Chinese. In an attempt
to sort things out I have built the fonts-android source package in my
PPA with the DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf font broken out to a separate
binary package named fonts-droid-cjk. The PPA also includes a version
of language-selector where the changes in version 0.129.2 have been
To test it in Trusty, you should:
* Uninstall the fonts-droid package
* Install fonts-droid-cjk and language-selector-common from my PPA
My own tests indicate that the change to language-selector due to bug
#1335482 was a step in the wrong direction. With
DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf as the only installed font from the Droid
Sans family, you get rid of possible confusion that might have
resulted in the issue reported in that bug.
$ LANG=zh_CN.UTF-8 fc-match -s 'sans-serif' | head -n 5
DroidSansFallbackFull.ttf: "Droid Sans Fallback" "Regular"
uming.ttc: "AR PL UMing CN" "Light"
uming.ttc: "AR PL UMing HK" "Light"
ukai.ttc: "AR PL UKai CN" "Book"
DejaVuSans.ttf: "DejaVu Sans" "Book"
Also, if we would take this route, it might be easier to fix a
configuration that makes Droid Sans Fallback work well with qt apps.
(This is pure theory/hope so far.)
Looking forward to your comments.
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