[gs-devel] ghostscript-9.x and the Xfonts deprecation

Ken Sharp ken.sharp at artifex.com
Mon Apr 25 07:09:33 UTC 2011

At 19:12 24/04/2011 +0100, Chris Liddell wrote:

>Essentially, it is one of those: "if you don't know what it means,
>don't worry about it" cases.

Chris, I think Nelson *does* need to be concerned about the warning, the 
fact that he is reading it means that he is indeed using xfonts I believe 
(certainly I don't get it under Linux).

>On 24 April 2011 18:06, Nelson H. F. Beebe <beebe at math.utah.edu> wrote:
> > I notice that even a tiny PostScript file like this one
> >
> > % cat /tmp/tiny.ps
> > /Helvetica findfont 10 scalefont setfont
> > 100 100 moveto (This is a test of 10pt Helvetica) show
> > showpage
> >
> > produces a warning from the ghostscript-9.x releases:
> >
> > % gs /tmp/tiny.ps
> > ...
> > GPL Ghostscript RELEASE CANDIDATE 9.02: Warning: the Xfonts feature is 
> deprecated and will be removed in a future release.
> >
> > Because that example uses one of the fonts that all versions of
> > PostScript declared to be predefined (and thus, need not be included
> > in the file), it is unclear how ordinary users are supposed to
> > react to the warning.

To be honest, I wouldn't expect 'ordinary users' to get the warning. This 
means that you are using the system X fonts (which are bitmaps) to render 
with. Most people will be using the open source URW PostScript fonts 
instead. These are scalable outlines, and as Chris said in his email should 
result in better output.

IIRC These fonts need to be downloaded separately from the Ghostscript 
source if you are building Ghostscript from source. I would very strongly 
recommend that you use these fonts and do not rely on the system X fonts.

The warning is there, as Chris implied, so that if anyone like yourself 
gets the warning they will let us know. This is so that we can gauge demand 
for this 'feature' and if it should turn out to be vital we won't remove 
it. So far yours is the only response.

> > What are you folks intending to happen when the Xfonts feature is removed?

Well, you won't be able to use X fonts, and will need to use 'proper' 
PostScript fonts.

> > And what, if anything, should PostScript software developers be doing to
> > prepare for that change?

PostScript software developers should not need to do anything specific.


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