new font, kernel problem, and Unicode problem

Albert Cahalan acahalan at
Tue May 1 22:47:46 EDT 2007

On 5/1/07, Jim Gettys <jg at> wrote:
> On Tue, 2007-05-01 at 20:54 -0400, Albert Cahalan wrote:

>> I strongly suggest that somebody fix the kernel. I'm somewhat unlikely
>> to get that done, especially since I don't have a regular PC to test
>> the VGA text mode. The annoying limits are 256 max glyphs (512 requires
>> giving up the foreground intensity bit, which is not acceptable), 64 kB
>> max size, and 32-line max height.
> I'm skeptical that the community will be very eager to lift these limits
> for the console, on size alone: before people try this, I'd suggest
> checking with the powers that be.

You might be right, because people can be irrational about resource
usage; the "penny wise and pound foolish" expression probably applies.
On the very first Linux box, 64 kB would have been less than 2% of
the RAM. It'd be 0.02% on the XO, and 0.006% on any normal machine.

Code talks though, and one can always ship with a patch.

> I'll also note that there are other solutions to the font encoding
> problem, such as what Keith Packard did for Twin.


>> I also suggest that somebody resubmit the Unicode proposal for
>> the 12 precomposed characters needed for Yoruba. It was rejected
>> on 1996-Sep-07, over a decade ago. 12 is hardly anything. Without
>> these characters, Yoruba might be unworkable on the console.
> It's not clear that console support for Yoruba is very
> interesting/useful; having it in terminal emulators seems likely
> sufficient for most people.

Can we say the same for French, German, and Spanish? People seem
to like having non-ASCII filenames and even process names.

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