[Rd] Plotmath on Fedora 31 broken with with pango >= 1.44 - workarounds?

Paul Murrell p@u| @end|ng |rom @t@t@@uck|@nd@@c@nz
Mon Mar 30 04:24:17 CEST 2020


I have created an R branch that contains a potential fix ...


This allows, for example, ...


... to specify that the OpenSymbol family should be used as the "symbol" 
font (e.g., for "plotmath") in R.

This is just a separate branch for now because, while I have tested it 
under Unbuntu 18.04 and Fedora 31, I cannot even build R for Windows 
(right now) or Mac (ever) and I do not want to drop a bomb on R-devel at 
this stage of the release process for R 4.0.0.

The attached file contains at least an outline of steps required to do a 
minimal test if anyone wants to try the fix on Linux.

cc'ing Simon and Jeroen in case they are able to help with checking that 
this builds and works on Mac and/or Windows.

- 'symbolfamily' can only be specified when a graphics device is opened, 
and it is then fixed for that device.
- on Windows, for cairo-based devices, the "symbol" font is still 
hard-coded as "Standard Symbols L"


On 30/03/20 8:15 am, Paul Murrell wrote:
> Hi
> Thanks for your input on this Iñaki and Nicolas.
> I am starting testing an R fix for this problem today.
> As suggested, the plan is to allow the R user to specify a font family 
> other than "symbol" for plotmath output (or, more generally, in R 
> parlance, for 'font=5' or 'fontface=5') on a Cairo-based graphics device.
> Paul
> On 27/03/20 11:30 pm, Iñaki Ucar wrote:
>> On Wed, 25 Mar 2020 at 12:25, Nicolas Mailhot
>> <nicolas.mailhot using laposte.net> wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>> R brought this all on itself by hardcoding a Windows-only “Symbol” font
>>> family name in its default conf. Linux systems are UTF-8 by default for
>>> ~20 years now, they don’t need the forcing of magic font families to
>>> handle symbols not present in the 8-bit legacy Windows encodings.
>>> The actual effect of this conf is not the selection of font files with
>>> special and unusual symbols. It is to priorize fonts that match the
>>> "Symbol" magic name. And those fonts are few and crumbling on Linux
>>> systems, because no one has needed to bother with them since Linux
>>> switched to UTF-8 last millenium.
>>> Just stop using “Symbol” in R and things will work a lot better.
>>> Alternatively, prepare to maintain the “Symbol” aliasing stack in
>>> fontconfig (and fight with wine for it), because *no* *one* *else*
>>> *cares* about this legacy Windows-specific stuff.
>> So, in the light of Nicolas' input (thanks!), I think that font
>> selection should be fixed upstream in R. I'd be happy to put all this
>> together in R's bugzilla, but I don't have an account. Could someone
>> please invite me?
>> Iñaki
>> ______________________________________________
>> R-devel using r-project.org mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

Dr Paul Murrell
Department of Statistics
The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
New Zealand
64 9 3737599 x85392
paul using stat.auckland.ac.nz

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