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From "Andreas L. Delmelle" <andreas.delme...@telenet.be>
Subject Re: fop not handling svn rotated text on linux
Date Sat, 02 Jul 2011 21:27:23 GMT

On 01 Jul 2011, at 18:20, Rob Sargent wrote:

Hi Rob

<snip />
> I'm coming to the conclusion that to guarantee all platforms use the
> same font I must include it in the distribution of the client.  As I've
> said, we're already including non-standard fonts (e.g. Optima), but my
> naive assumption that, since it's part and parcel of PDF, simply naming
> Helvetica was enough is clearly wrong.

Given the fact that (a substitute for) Helvetica may not be available (or just is slightly
different) on the client... It is not entirely true that it's "part and parcel" of PDF. The
PDF Specification states only that viewer applications can assume the Base14 fonts to always
be available, so as not to force said viewers to include them in the application package.
Not necessarily naive, but you're just bitten by the fact that, at the end of the day, there
simply is no such thing as true platform-independency, especially where it concerns interoperability
between two basically separate Java apps. Some things depend on the implementation of the
Java runtime and the actual configuration of the OS it runs on.

Assuming that you know which font is actually selected by the JVM/OS, then you could try creating
a substitution mapping in FOP's config, like:

  <from font-family="Helvetica" />
  <to font-family="..."/>

see: http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/fop/1.0/fonts.html#substitution

That will force FOP to use the metrics for that font, rather than the default Base14 Helvetica
(also for your FO, so there will be consistency, if that is what you are looking for). 
Incidentally, trying to use literal "SansSerif" in SVG triggered the same issue on OS X. The
reason is that, for the Apple JVM "SansSerif" is an alias for "Lucida Grande".
I can confirm that I see change when adding a mapping such as above, however, the appropriate
font-file cannot be parsed by FOP currently...
Still, you might be able to resolve it this way on your end.

> Now can I just use the truetype
> arial which _is_ on my box (but does not rectify the current situation)
> and would presumably be what the pc users are getting. Or am I better
> off getting a commercial truetype Helvetica?

That depends on what you want to do with it. Keep in mind that buying the Helvetica font would
only grant you personal use. It comes pre-installed on most common systems, but that license
does not permit the user-developers to just include it in their own projects. That is very
likely precisely the reason why it is left out of Linux, as a matter of principle.
What when you happen to run into a colleague that has the same issue? He/she should then have
to buy it as well. If the vendor gets wind of you redistributing the font in your own software,
or just copying it to multiple clients within your organization, he may not like it, and force
you to pay more. There is a reason FOP can only redistribute the *metrics* for the Base14
fonts, not the fonts themselves.
Since you're already including other fonts, in case you have not done so yet, be sure to check
for those as well whether or not you are permitted to include them.


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