[arch-dev-public] Removing dependency on fontconfig/xorg-mkfontscale of font packages

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Fri Jun 26 03:33:45 UTC 2020

On 6/25/20 11:29 PM, Chih-Hsuan Yen via arch-dev-public wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 05:53:28PM -0400, Eli Schwartz via arch-dev-public wrote:
>> On 3/31/20 12:36 PM, Eli Schwartz wrote:
>>> On 3/30/20 6:35 AM, Chih-Hsuan Yen via arch-dev-public wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 01:26:11AM +0200, Frederik Schwan via arch-dev-public wrote:
>>>>> We received a Feature Request today to remove fontconfig and xorg-mkfontscale dependencies from our font packages according to our own font packaging guidelines [0].
>>>>> I discussed with Eli on #archlinux-bugs and we think it's a no-brainer but before creating a TODO we'd like to ask for your opinions first.
>>>>> Thank you
>>>>> [0] https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/66012
>>>> Just as a reference - in another similar feature request [1], Doug
>>>> Newgard mentioned that not everyone agrees on removing fontconfig and/or
>>>> xorg-mkfontscale. I believe the following two mails in the mentioned
>>>> arch-dev-public thread are most relevant: [2][3].
>>>> Having said that, I agrees on removing fontconfig & xorg-mkfontscale.
>>>> Best,
>>>> Chih-Hsuan Yen
>>>> [1] https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/59164
>>>> [2] https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2016-April/027946.html
>>>> [3] https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2016-April/027948.html
>>> heftig, City-busz, could you elaborate on just what this means? All I
>>> see there is mention that "it ensures the hooks are available", but that
>>> simply says "it needs to be installed for the sake of being installed".
>>> Is there an underlying reason here?
>>> Note that regardless of whether a font package depends on fontconfig,
>>> and regardless of whether you have any fonts installed, the fontconfig
>>> post_install and post_upgrade scripts run fc-cache --really-force during
>>> install time and on every single pkgver or pkgrel update, and then if
>>> fonts are installed it runs *again* at the end of the transaction. It's
>>> impossible to have fontconfig installed and *not* have the fontconfig cache.
>>> xorg-mkfontscale does the same thing to run
>>> /usr/share/libalpm/scripts/xorg-mkfontscale but in post_install only.
>> Since there were no objections after several months and the bug reporter
>> is asking for a status update, I will assume the objection from 2016 no
>> longer applies. I'll create a TODO for this later tonight.
>> -- 
>> Eli Schwartz
>> Bug Wrangler and Trusted User
> Hi Eli,
> I saw the new TODO has been created. Thanks a lot for that! Just one
> question: https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/66012 also mentions
> xorg-font-utils. Should that be removed from dependencies as well?

It is a "Transitional package depending on xorg font utilities", the
package has no contents and simply

depends=('xorg-bdftopcf' 'xorg-mkfontdir' 'xorg-mkfontscale'

Not sure why it exists still TBH, but I'd venture to say it should be
removed too, yes...

e.g. why drag in a recursive dependency on xorg-bdftopcf in this day and

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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