# True Type fonts, X.org, and MathML

I use MathML. Why? Because it just makes sense for mathematics on the websites.

On my DragonFly I had to do the following:

Installed X.org 6.8.1 or .2. Enable xfs (the X font server) by adding xfs_enable="YES" to rc.conf.

From ports install x11-fonts/ttmkfdir and x11-fonts/urwfonts-ttf.

Extract http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/fonts/bakoma/texcm-ttf.zip to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF.

Extract from http://support.wolfram.com/mathematica/systems/windows/general/latestfonts.html the 4.1 TrueType fonts to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF.

In /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF do:

# ttmkfdir > fonts.scale
# mkfontdir

This will update fonts.scale and fonts.dir, check them with cat or more to see if they contain references to the extracted new .ttf files.

Change /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fs/config to have /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/urwfonts-ttf added to catalogue.
Also add /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/urwfonts-ttf as a FontPath to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

# xset fp+ /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/urwfonts-ttf
# xset fp rehash

Edited $HOME/.fonts.conf and added: [xml]<?xml version="1.0"?> <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd"> <fontconfig> <match target="pattern"> <test name="family"> <string>symbol</string> </test> <edit name="family" mode="append" binding="strong"> <string>Standard Symbols L</string> </edit> </match> </fontconfig>[/xml] Added user_pref("font.mathfont-family", "Math1, Math2, Math4"); to $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/<profile.default>/user.js.

There seem to be some bugs still, at least in displaying the W3C test suite.

In a blaze of insane reasoning we now see that using or embedding GPL’d fonts with/in documents can/might/will make that document GPL’d as well.

http://nashi.altmuehlnet.de/pipermail/scribus/2005-April/010319.html discusses some of the finer points with regard to this issue.

On the FSF site we can find a mention of how fonts apparently are a difficult thing with the GPL.

Personally I am getting sick of licenses to the marrow of my bone.

A typical font license is quite similar to what Adobe says on their “What about fonts?” page.

To quote:

“You may embed typefaces into documents only under certain circumstances. Adobe permits embedding certain typefaces into documents for the explicit purpose of viewing and printing only.”

An interesting article on the issue Font Licensing and Protection Details.

On the art side I totally fell in love with Ryan Church’s work especially after seeing some of his concept artwork as laid out in my copy of The Making of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.

# X can suck hard at times

And to the question why people still use Windows try setting up your X environment to properly support MathML with Firefox.

Truly, using new fonts within X is a black art still reminiscent of dark and medieval times when we did not know better. I thought we would have progressed that stage by now.

From a user perspective Windows definitely wins hands down in this, drag a file to a Fonts folder, done.
No, X wants us to use crazy incantations of mkfontdir, mkfontscale, fc-cache, ttmkfdir, xset with various fp options and hope xlsfonts shows the font you are after.

Users do NOT want to be bothered with foundries, weights, encoding types, and what not. They just want to add a font, select it in their favourite application and go: “owww, pretty!”

Is that, anno 2004, too much to ask?

Apparently…