Firefox: Font packages for MathML

Nicolas Mailhot nicolas.mailhot at laposte.net
Sun Jul 8 16:16:37 UTC 2012

Hi Frédéric,

1. Stix and Asana have been available in Fedora for a long time

If you have a problem with them please file a bug

2. MathJax if the usual TEXie badly named and documented font pile (making
STIX 1.0 release a pleasure to look at). It would take a major commitment
by someone to untangle, check and package properly. So I doubt anyone will
package it Fedora-side soon (there are many lower-hanging fruits).

3. While MathML is important for some, so are many human languages that
require specific fonts to be rendered. And we can't have apps depend on
all the possible fonts their users could want to use — that would make the
distribution unfit for many use cases. Fedora ships by default with a
large font set but most apps do not depend on any font package which is
how things should be – this way users can cut down on installed fonts when
they need the space, and we don't have Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, etc
users clamouring to add font dependencies to all our desktop apps.

4. Conversely we've made a major effort a few years ago to clean up font
packages and make sure they export font metadata to the package manager.
Applications like Firefox that need specific fonts can query the package
manager to see if they're available in the package repository and can
propose the user to install them (much like they can propose to install a
specific video codec when needed). If you want to make sure MathML works
in Fedora Firefox (and in Linux distros that use a similar system) you
need to code the package manager glue so Firefox proposes to the user to
install missing system fonts when needed. I'm sure I've proposed this at
least a year ago in Firefox Bugzilla.

We use fontconfig-generated metadata so it's in no way Fedora specific

yum install "font(asanamath)" works, and so does
repoquery --whatprovides "font(:lang=ru)"

Thus Firefox only needs to learn to talk to PackageKit for its font needs
and make use of all the existing plumbing.

Regards,

--
Nicolas Mailhot