Recent changes in java-1.6.0-openjdk (font dependencies)

Nicolas Mailhot nicolas.mailhot at
Sat Nov 27 09:04:54 UTC 2010

Le vendredi 26 novembre 2010 à 17:18 -0500, TK009 a écrit :
> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 4:45 PM, TK009 <john.brown009 at> wrote:
> > On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM, Ronald Wahl <rwahl at> wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> today I was very surprised that updating my F13 system required me to
> >> install ~20 fonts packages. Digging around a bit showed me that change
> >> in the java-1.6.0-openjdk package:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Can anyone tell me the reason for all these fonts dependencies?
> >>
> >
> > I would like to know the reason for this as well.
> >

This is basically due to the fact openjdk fontconfig support is
incomplete, and that instead of querying fontconfig for the appropriate
fonts to use for a particular language it relies on hardcoded font lists
in property files.

(see /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.6.0-openjdk- for example)

Those lists are regularly out of date (obsolete/false content), do not
work when the installed font for a language is not the one specified
there, and do not specify the same fallbacks as the ones fontconfig (and
fontconfig apps) will use by itself.

Explicitely requiring font packages is a way to limit the breakage. It
sucks and is not really a long-term decision.

We had the same problem in firefox (that maintained its own private font
lists too) before it was changed to use the default fontconfig aliases
(sans, serif, monospace etc) under Linux instead of trying to outsmart
the native font management system.

Nicolas Mailhot

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