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

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Tue Mar 31 16:36:34 UTC 2020

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.

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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