NS2.1 Unicode font library could not be initialized

John-Mark Bell jmb at netsurf-browser.org
Tue Jul 7 23:29:55 BST 2009

On Tue, 2009-07-07 at 20:54 +0100, Tim Hill wrote:

> With hundreds of magpied font families, some may only be used once or
> never, for a specific (printed on paper) document or to create a web
> image. You use a font manager to avoid having hundreds of seldom-used
> decorative and blackletter fonts active all the time and consequent
> slowness and HUGE font menus in programs such as (insert name of any
> program which allows you to select a font). I would imagine that if I
> didn't swap active fonts around, and had them all active all the time,
> NetSurf would take at least three eons to scan them all several times
> every day and other software would explode, as would my brain.  ;-)

I have already explained how NetSurf (or, more accurately, the RUfl
library) decides whether to scan fonts.

> I have tried it now: my usual active collection on Myonix takes a few
> mere seconds to be scanned. It has just taken 15 minutes to scan all 200
> or so families and the NetSurf font picker is 40 screens high.

Sounds likely. In future, this will be significantly faster -- I'd
estimate it taking somewhere in the region of 2 minutes.

> Soft loading RISC OS 5.15 at boot seems always to cause NetSurf to
> re-scan fonts (don't get me wrong; this is not a major issue to me - I
> don't mind it scanning my active fonts!). 

That sounds broken. As ever, send me a log file.

> If I load an old document by dropping it on my font manager to
> auto-activate the (probably decorative) fonts it contains the next load
> of NetSurf (RUfl?) detects the change and it then chunters though the
> font scanning doo-dad again. Again, not a problem with only a few active
> fonts. 

Only if they are not already in RUfl's cache.

> It appears there is an "incompatibility" between NetSurf's approach and
> font managers which hide the bulk of your collection from the font$path.
> It seems that RUfl assumes we don't change the 'active' selection more
> often than its developer changes his.  ;-)

Not really. There's just no sensible way to determine that the available
fonts have changed. At least, not without yet another support module.

> For all the font scanning, though, I have a font Inkburrow but NetSurf
> doesn't use it even though it's active and here in h1:
> http://www.sarva.co.uk/style.css
> A different font issue methinks but ironic that NetSurf has bothered to
> scan this active font but isn't able to use it, except maybe if it has
> unique unicode characters to substitute elsewhere.

That is a completely different issue. It won't be fixed any time soon.


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