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Re: Emacs 23, Debian and the "fixed" font

From: Jorgen Grahn
Subject: Re: Emacs 23, Debian and the "fixed" font
Date: 24 Feb 2011 23:02:05 GMT
User-agent: slrn/pre1.0.0-18 (Linux)

On Thu, 2011-02-24, Tim X wrote:
> Jorgen Grahn <address@hidden> writes:
>> I've started upgrading my Linux machines from Debian 5.0 (which
>> includes emacs 21.3) to 6.0 (which includes emacs 23).  I haven't
>> upgraded my main desktop machine yet.
>> When I tried emacs on one of the upgraded machines, I noted that my
>> .emacs broke on the line
>>   (set-default-font "fixed")
>> and I also couldn't get to it using M-x set-default-font. I suspect
>> this is because Debian's emacs 23 is built with the Qt toolkit rather
>> than the good old Athena widgets.
>> - Is there a way to get to the "fixed" font in some other way, perhaps
>>   under a different name?  I find it's the most readable fixed-width
>>   font for programming etc; it has always been the font I've used in
>>   Emacs and in terminals.
>> - If not, can I rebuild emacs with Athena widgets instead of Qt?  I.e.
>>   is it optional during build?
>> If both are 'no', I'll build myself an emacs 21.3 instead. I'm very
>> happy with that version.
> Just a couple of points to note. 
> Emacs 23 is built with the gtk toolkit, not qt. 

Ah, sorry. It looked wrong when I wrote it -- GTK being more
GNU-related and all.

> The "fixed" font is not a real font - it is an font alias that points to
> a real font. It could be that this alias is not defined in your system. 

It is -- xterm happily uses it.  If it's unavailable to GTK is another
question. Unhappily, I have come to expect to have different
selections of fonts in different applications over the years. If it's
a configuration problem, it's one all my Linux installations have had.

And "fixed" /is/ real in the sense that it's the same, pixel by pixel,
on every system I've used for the last 20 years. (Except that time
when they changed the shape of ' in some ancient X11 release.)

> Emacs 23 now uses anti-aliased fonts via xft. This greatly improves the
> quality of the fonts and gives you access to the truetype fonts. 

[More Emacs 23 font tips.]

Thanks! But I'm one of those users who dislike changes, except those
we ask for. I don't personally want more font control in Emacs -- I
just want 'fixed'.

> If you can't get it working or don't like it, I would suggest at least
> emacs 22 rather than going back to emacs 21. However, I strongly
> recommend getting emacs 23 going [...]

I was thinking about 22, but the Debian people seem to have jumped
straight from 21 to 23 because of some perceived problem with Emacs 22
and Unicode. On the other hand, since I (you guessed it!) don't care
about Unicode either, it's probably nothing that would affect me.

I'll try Emacs 22 first.


  // Jorgen Grahn <grahn@  Oo  o.   .  .
\X/>   O  o   .

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