[webkit-dev] Fonts for WebKit tests on OS X?

Frédéric WANG fred.wang at free.fr
Sat Mar 12 01:27:30 PST 2016

Le 12/03/2016 02:01, Michael Catanzaro a écrit :
> Fred, if these fonts are not preinstalled, is MathML broken for users
> in practice? 
Yes, math fonts are fundamental as long as you start using relative
complex math (integrals, big fence & radicals etc) or deliver documents
to people used to high rendering quality (e.g. scientists familiar to
LaTeX). In the screenshot of my initial message you can see some obvious
problems like horizontal brace not stretching or ridiculously small
> If so, that would be a good argument for installing the fonts by default.
Well that's what I believe too, but apparently OS vendors have not been
convinced so far. I hope that can change for Apple when WebKit has
better math rendering... I'd already be happy if there is a simple way
to use the fonts for Mac testing, but otherwise I guess we should just
focus on the GTK port for now and continue to mark MathML tests as
failing on other ports...

> That's kinda my concern with this Latin Modern Math font we're using
> for the GTK port. We're not shipping that in Fedora and I doubt other
> distros are either, so if it's needed for MathML to work well, it's
> broken for users in practice. 
Most (all?) Linux distros have TeXLive packages which include Latin
Modern Math, XITS Math (a fork of STIX to fix existing bugs), and more
math fonts. So it's relatively easy for users to install the fonts.
Ideally, the Latin Modern package should be a dependency of WebKitGTK+,
which I think I (or Martin Robinson) already asked in the past to some
distro maintainers when we added Latin Modern Math to the test environment.

In the case of Fedora, the good news is that STIX is installed by
default in the normal setup. The bad news is that the current 1.1
release of STIX has many bugs making it bad for math layout albeit not
as bad as with the obsolete version shipped in OS X. However, I'm
confident the Fedora package will be updated to version 2 when it is

See (*) for more details, which also gives an overview of the situation
in other operating systems. Given the lack of availability of math
fonts, workarounds have been considered but they add burden for each actor:

1) Web Engines: add fallback mechanisms e.g. scale transforms to stretch
the base size of operators (done in Gecko) or drawing them directly with
graphic functions (done in WebKit for radicals) etc However, people used
to high rendering quality find this kind of fallback particularly ugly.
Other people proposed to ship the big math fonts in the browsers, which
I believe would be sad...

2) Users: install fonts themselves or (specifically for mobile
platforms) install some browser addon providing them as Web fonts.

3) Authors: provide the math fonts as Web fonts on each website, ebook,
Web app etc

(*) https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/MathML_Project/Fonts

Frédéric Wang

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