bugXBoard - Bugs: bug #33241, xboard quits with "Unable to...


bug #33241: xboard quits with "Unable to create font set."

Submitter:  Auguste Pop <auguste>
Submitted:  Fri 06 May 2011 08:10:15 AM UTC
Category:  None Severity:  4 - Important
Item Group:  None Status:  Fixed
Assigned to:  apersaud Open/Closed:  Closed
Release:  None
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Mon 30 May 2011 03:45:52 AM UTC, comment #12: 

After some more emails, it seems that that Auguste's main issue was just that helvetica is not installed on his system.  Hopefully the newer error messages will make it clearer when that happens.

Auguste says he can no longer reproduce the part of the issue that I didn't understand, so I am going to give up worrying about that part.

Tim Mann <mann>
Project Administrator
Sun 29 May 2011 10:05:02 AM UTC, comment #11: 

i tried the new version from git, still can not create font set. the error message is more verbose now. it's about failing to match helvetica.

anyway, if i specify manually in ~/.xboardrc, i can start xboard. the difference is this time, the 's are not all filled out in the saved ~/.xboardrc file. for instance, the iso8859 part is not set, it remains .

i thought maybe this is just a font problem on my machine. :P

Auguste Pop <auguste>
Sun 29 May 2011 04:53:20 AM UTC, comment #10: 

I still don't fully understand the original issue in this bug report, but I have pushed a fix into git for an internationalization problem that I do understand: xboard was displaying garbage for any utf8 characters in its internationalized messages that were outside the 7-bit ASCII range.  We were failing to set the "international" and "fontSet" resources on our Xaw widgets; instead we were using the first font returned in each font set and ignoring the rest.

With luck maybe this change will fix Auguste's issue too.  Please let us know and if you still have a problem, I'll take a look now that I understand this area better.

Tim Mann <mann>
Project Administrator
Tue 17 May 2011 07:57:46 AM UTC, comment #9: 

after reading the strace output, which is quite cryptic to me, and considering arun's earlier suggestion, i changed the last seven sections of all font related specs into * in ~/.xboardrc. miraculously, xboard started.

the font were matched to -microsoft-cp1252 before, and it's now -iso8859-1

sorry for all the fuss i have created. anyway, although this seems to be working now, removing ~/.xboardrc totally would still result in a "Unable to create font set" error.

the new strace file is here: http://paste.pocoo.org/show/390425/

Auguste Pop <auguste>
Tue 17 May 2011 07:15:28 AM UTC, comment #8: 

here is the strace result get by strace -o strace.result xboard

i don't know how to read it, just provided it for you information.


Auguste Pop <auguste>
Mon 16 May 2011 11:36:24 PM UTC, comment #7: 

i can match this font specification with xlsfonts. (see below)

my kernel is configured like

maybe i did it wrong, because i don't know how to "give a similar FontSpec" to xboard, so i actually did nothing.

is there some way i can get more debug information from xboard?

here is the xlsfonts outout:
$ xlsfonts -fn '-misc-fixed-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-iso10646-1'

Auguste Pop <auguste>
Mon 16 May 2011 08:57:53 PM UTC, comment #6: 

found some reference on the web:


section "KDE, GNOME and Xfce". It seems that you need to use a font that fits:


that is, you need a iso10646 encoding for Xaw to work. Can you try this?

If this is it, we probably should check for this at startup, when NLS is enabled

Arun Persaud <apersaud>
Project Administrator
Sat 07 May 2011 08:45:27 PM UTC, comment #5: 

hmm, I just tried it again on my computer and can't reproduce this... LANG=en_US.utf8 as well as LANG=de_DE or no LANG settings works just fine... which will make this harder to debug :(

At the moment I think this might be a font-related problem, but I'll try to look a bit more into it and perhaps we can add some default fallback or something similar with a warning message instead of xboard quitting...


Arun Persaud <apersaud>
Project Administrator
Sat 07 May 2011 07:49:23 AM UTC, comment #4: 

LANG is set to en_US.utf8

no warning while compiling.

i used make install, two .mo files are installed, namely /usr/share/locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/xboard.mo and /usr/share/locale/tr/LC_MESSAGES/xboard.mo

i tried to remove my ~/.xboardrc which specifies the font i used to use, but still got the same error. do i have to install some x-fonts that provides "helvetica"?

Auguste Pop <auguste>
Sat 07 May 2011 06:06:52 AM UTC, comment #3: 

I think this error can show up, if you use a font that doesn't support all the characters needed for the locale you are using...

Some questions:

What language setting are you using when starting xboard with nls enabled?
Any warnings during the compilation?
Did you run "make install" do install the .po files?


Arun Persaud <apersaud>
Project Administrator
Fri 06 May 2011 10:31:15 PM UTC, comment #2: 

i am on archlinux. gettext is version, although gettextize --version only reports 0.18.1

gettextize -f before ./autogen.sh does not help. i also tried to copy /usr/share/gettext/gettext.h into xboard directory, aclocal -I m4, autoconf, gettextize -f, and then ./autogen.sh, ./configure, make, still not helping.

Auguste Pop <auguste>
Fri 06 May 2011 04:35:25 PM UTC, comment #1: 

Presumably this worked for Arun on his system before he checked it in.  Could you say exactly what linux (or other unix) distro you are on?  What does "gettextize --version" say on your system?

I had a different problem: I'm on Ubuntu 10.04 with gettext-tools 0.17, but Arun checked in stuff built with 0.18.  When trying to build, I got an error about Makefile.in.in being the wrong version until I did this:

gettextize -f

I don't know if that will help you because your symptom is different from mine.

Tim Mann <mann>
Project Administrator
Fri 06 May 2011 08:10:15 AM UTC, original submission:  

nls is enabled as default. disabling nls solves this problem.

a git bisect shows the first bad commit is 34e7a4b058c8ee6691dea2b5776459d58569840d

and when bisecting to the commit after that, there was an error about po/POTFILES or something.

Auguste Pop <auguste>


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    Follow 6 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2011-05-30 mann Open/ClosedOpen Closed
    2011-05-30 mann StatusReady For Test Fixed
    2011-05-29 mann StatusIn Progress Ready For Test
    2011-05-07 apersaud Severity3 - Normal 4 - Important
        StatusNone In Progress
        Assigned toNone apersaud

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