[Pkg-xfce-devel] Bug#580595: Bug#580595: xfdesktop4: Selection of default font not always honored

Dave Witbrodt dawitbro at sbcglobal.net
Fri May 7 21:22:38 UTC 2010

On 05/07/2010 02:08 AM, Yves-Alexis Perez wrote:
> On jeu., 2010-05-06 at 21:18 -0400, Dave Witbrodt wrote:
>> After selecting Applications->Settings->Appearance, and modifying the
>> "Default Font" on the Fonts tab, I have been using Liberation Sans
>> (11 pt) as my default font.
>> Occasionally, after logging out and back in, Xfce starts up without
>> honoring this selection of default font.  (This has never yet happened
>> when first booting the machine, but only after logging out and back in.)
>> Some other font with a much smaller point size -- maybe the default for
>> Xfce if no config files are present in $HOME -- is sometimes used.
> Is it a different *font* or only a different size? The only settings I
> know about xfdesktop font settings is the size, so it'd help if we know
> if it fallbacks to a whole different font or just the font size.

I agree:  it would help to know that.  It could just be the point size 
that is wrong, or it could be BOTH the font and the point size.  I 
incorrectly implied above that I know that the font face is wrong, but I 
stand corrected:  I do not actually know that.  These fonts all start 
looking the same at very small point sizes!

Next time the bug occurs, I will try to find out -- but right now I'm 
not sure how to get the info without causing Xfce to notice... and fix 

>> If I
>> right-click, select Desktop Settings, click the Icons tab, then check
>> and uncheck the "Use custom font size" checkbox, Xfce realizes that it
>> is supposed to be using Liberation Sans.  (That checkbox defaults to 12
>> pt, but when I uncheck it I get the desired Liberation Sans 11 pt.)
> So at first, the checkbox is unchecked (but xfdesktop doesn't use
> correct font settings), when you check it the *font* changes and when
> you uncheck it the *size* changes, to switch back to the correct
> settings (the ones chosen in xfce4-settings-manager).

Right... when the error occurs:

1) "Use custom font size" is unchecked (the setting shown defaults to 
12pt, but is not being used)

2) When I check the box, the shown setting of 12 pt is honored.  (The 
font face is now clearly Liberation sans, if it wasn't before.)

3) Unchecking the box results in the desired font now, Liberation Sans 11pt.

>> This is merely an annoying, but obviously something is not working the
>> way it should and I thought I should report it as a bug.  It is a great
>> mystery to me that my custom "default font" setting is always respected
>> the first time I log in, but randomly fails to be recognized if I log
>> out and back in again!
> I have to admit I don't use much desktop icons, so I've never reproduced
> that, but I'll try, stay tuned.

You mean "fonts" instead of "icons," right?

>> I wasn't sure whether to file this against 'xfdesktop4' or
>> 'xfce4-settings', so I made the best guess I could.  How can a user know
>> which Xfce package to file a bug against, with it split up into so many
>> separate pieces?  (For example, there are missing icons in the
>> applications menu, and also in the dialog box when moving files from one
>> drive to another.  Are these bugs in Xfce packages, or the icon theme
>> package?)
> We try very hard to stay modular and avoir too much dependencies and
> monolithism. So yeah, that's the price, components talk to each other
> and sometime it's hard to say where does the problem lies. Just try to
> guess good, and report, then we'll figure out ourselves and reassign if
> needed. In that case, I think the potential problem lies in xfdesktop.

OK, thanks.  I may have actually guessed correctly!  :)

> Something which might help is, when outside of Xfce, if you could try to
> check ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-desktop.xml to
> see the current setting of 'use-custom-font-size'. What we need would be
> to check that setting when you know that, just after that, the bug will
> trigger, but that might be a bit tricky.

Well, I discovered the bug only because I have been doing a lot of 
testing of Mesa, Radeon drivers, X server, etc.  When building new 
upstream packages, I often have to shut down X, install the new package 
versions, and restart X.  It is during these cycles that the font issue 

I am quite comfortable with the command line.  I never thought of it 
before, but I should be able to copy directories from $HOME to /tmp when 
I notice the bug; then apply the workaround, copy the same directories, 
and diff the two versions.  Sorry this didn't occur to me before.

Dave W.

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