Anyone out there remember the old X core font system?

Jim Gettys jg at
Thu Apr 5 15:40:32 EDT 2007

Here's the problem:

We have a 200dpi screen; antique applications that use the old X core
font system (such as Adobe's Flash 9 player, to note one offender),
would end up with microscopically small fonts on the screen (in Flash's
case, its control menu).

So just wasting a ton of flash (at least 12 megabytes) to include the
old set of bitmap fonts won't actually help us much; just give us a
situation where old applications with text so small you cant read it....

I've been beating my head against the wall trying to resurrect my
knowledge in this are (tempered by 20 years, and its evolution in the
intervening period).  But it isn't clear I can (re)learn this stuff very

Basically, the ideal would be to alias the common X11 core bitmap fonts
(e.g. those canonically found in the X11/misc and X11/100dpi font
directories) to vague approximations in the DejaVu outline fonts.  Since
we run so high resolution, the bitmaps generated won't be to terrible.

If someone out there remembers how to do this, and would like a project
that would help us a lot in a small amount of work (which this might be
if you already know how to deal with the old X core font system), this
would be a big help.

Drop me a note if you can help out.
                                     - Jim
Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child

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