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Hi, I’ve been trying to fix the problem with all of my Cygwin (Widnows XP) Gtk and Qt applications being slow (taking about 5minutes to startup). I’ve been able to verify that the issue is due to Freetype being used, and in turn; font-config being used to list off the available fonts on startup. The problem is that font-config never actually caches anything, so any font-config using application, has the same (realliy bad) start up time…every time.
I tried running fc-cache manually but to no avail; I double checked time stamps, having write permission any problems with the configuration file, bad install of the Cygwin packages etc, but no matter what, fc-cache always fails on all possible font directories with:
failed to write cache
After googling around trying all the suggested solutions, nothing was helping, and I ran strace and looked through the detailed system calls. It turns out fc-cache tries to open cache files in read only mode. Which means there is no way it can create cache files L
So, I downloaded the source, compiled it up and added printf statements throughout the call chain from scanDirs() downwards, and picked a single directory to try and cache (the Type1 fonts directory for Cygwin). This is what I see:
bash-3.2$ ./fc-cache.exe --force --really-force /usr/share/fonts/Type1/
X: FcDirCacheValid /usr/share/fonts/Type1
X: FcDirCacheValidConfig calling through to FcDirCacheProcess
X: FcDirCacheProcess cache_base=/d62e99ef547d1d24cdb1bd22ec1a2976-le32d8.cache-3
X: FcDirCacheProcess cache_hashed=/home/Mike/.fonts.cache-2/d62e99ef547d1d24cdb1bd22ec1a2976-le32d8.cache-3
X: opening /home/Mike/.fonts.cache-2/d62e99ef547d1d24cdb1bd22ec1a2976-le32d8.cache-3 O_RDONLY | O_BINARY
X: FcDirCacheProcess fd=-1
/usr/share/fonts/Type1: failed to write cache
The X: … lines are my printf statements I added to the code.
I looked through the code by hand, from main(), to scanDirs() and downwards, there is no possible way that I can see for fc-cache to actually create caches on disk. The code that prints out the failed to write cache message is just calling FcDirCacheValid(), but this function is not used to create cache files (the error message of “write failed is meaningless), only to open then and check that they are valid (hence strace shows opening of cache files in read only mode with no creat flag..consistent at least).
So from what I can tell, fc-cache is not the program to use to populate the font caches the very first time.
My question is, what program do I use? Can you update your documentation to correctly point to the right program to use?
This has been very frustrating to try and track down. I guess when I have time next, I’ll try to understand the “init” call tree that actually does call the functions which build cache files (FcDirCacheScan), and maybe write a little program that specificalliy calls those functions so I can get my caches populated, but I really don’t think I should have to do that. fc-cache should work as its manpage says L
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