Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 133709
Mozilla thinks Symbol font is not installed when viewing MathML
Last modified: 2007-11-30 17:10:50 EST
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User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7)
Description of problem:
I have installed the MathML fonts package from the Fedora.us Extras
$ rpm -q mathml-fonts
Whenever I go to a page containing MathML such as
Mozilla (1.7.3, from fedora-updates-released) and Firefox (0.9.3, from
Fedora.us Extras) both display the following warning:
To properly display the MathML on this page you need to
install the following fonts:
For further information see:
However, the content on the page *appears* to be displayed absolutely
There certainly does seem to be a Symbol font available:
$ xlsfonts | grep -i symbol
-urw-standard symbols l-medium-r-normal--0-0-0-0-p-0-adobe-fontspecific
-urw-standard symbols l-medium-r-normal--0-0-0-0-p-0-iso10646-1
$ fc-list | grep -i symbol
Standard Symbols L:style=Regular
Perhaps /etc/fonts/fonts.conf needs to have a Symbol alias defined,
like it does for serif, sans-serif, and monospace?
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Install mathml-fonts
2. Start Mozilla
3. Go to http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/start.xhtml
Actual Results: Mozilla warns that the Symbol font is not installed,
but appears to display page correctly anyway.
Expected Results: Mozilla simply displays the page without warning or
I initially discovered this whilst trying to track down a different
issue: Mozilla was displaying MathML without warning or error but
using lowercase Greek letters when it should have been using lowercase
Roman letters in MathML formulae. I realised that it was because I had
copied my Windows fonts into /usr/local/share/fonts and added that
directory to /etc/fonts/local.conf and the Windows Symbol font was
either encoded differently/wrongly, or had glyphs in different
postions to where they were in the Adobe Symbol font. So I tried
commenting out the entry for /usr/local/share/fonts in
/etc/fonts/local.conf and restarted X, and that was when I started
seeing the error about no Symbol font being installed.
I have searched all through Mozilla's bugzilla, and through Red Hat's
bugzilla, and whilst there are numerous problems reported about fonts
in Linux and MathML on bugzilla.mozilla.org, and a couple of bugs
about the Symbol font on FC1 in bugzilla.redhat.com none of them
appeared to be exactly this one. I hope this isn't just a duplicate.
Reassigning to Mozilla, looks like completely an app issue.
I was in two minds whether to file this under Mozilla or under
something to do with the font handling in FC2. This is why I decided
to file it under fontconfig (although maybe urw-fonts might have been
a better choice?):
* After searching very thoroughly through bugzilla.mozilla.org I came
to the tentative conclusion that other people on other distros
weren't seeing this problem.
* After searching through bugzilla.redhat.com and seeing reports of
problems with the Symbol font in OOo and in Acrobat in FC1 I thought
that maybe it was a font problem.
* That suspicion was reinforced by the fact that if I browse to
fonts:/// in Nautilus the URW font "Standard Symbols L" (which is
the Symbol font) does not have a thumbnail (whilst the other MathML
fonts, auch as MT Extra, msam10, etc., do) and double clicking it
opens a font preview window that displays nothing but the numerals
0-9 and a few punctuation glyphs.
So, I think something is either broken with fontconfig or with
urw-fonts, rather than with Mozilla.
There's some discussion about this issue at
The suggestion there is to rename the URW 'Standard Symbols L' font to
'Symbol' or patch fonts.cache. There is also a Symbol font that comes
with Acrobat Reader. There are some other aspects to the comments
that I haven't investigated yet.
In the Mozilla bug report mentioned in comment #3 above there is a
<edit name="family" mode="append" binding="strong">
<string>Standard Symbols L</string>
Per my original report (originally filed against fontconfig) perhaps
this could be added to /etc/fonts/fonts.conf in the fontconfig package?
Sadly the fix proposed in comment #4 doesn't work. There must be some
way of letting fontconfig use "Symbol" as an alias for "Standard
Symbols L" ...
I suspect that this is because the code that makes sure that you have
the Symbol font installed actually does a font list and looks for a
font with a family name of "Symbol." It won't match "Standard Symbols
L." Is it safe to assert that the two fonts have metric-compatible fonts?
Standard Symbols L is pretty much an exact clone of Adobe Symbol.
(The URW fonts are intended to be drop in replacements of the Adobe 35)
Fedora Core 2 is now maintained by the Fedora Legacy project for
security updates only. If this problem is a security issue, please
reopen and reassign to the Fedora Legacy product. If it is not a
security issue and hasn't been resolved in the current FC3 updates or
in the FC4 test release, reopen and change the version to match.
Changed version to FC3.
Actually the situation seems to be worse than it was in FC2. According to my
original report in FC2 the page appeared to display correctly despite the
warning about a missing symbol font.
In FC3 I get the warning and the page is totally unreadable (in both Mozilla and
$ rpm -q mozilla firefox mathml-fonts urw-fonts
I'll attach a screenshot of http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/start.xhtml.
Created attachment 113674 [details]
Screenshot of http://www.mozilla.org/projects/mathml/start.xhtml
This is in FC3's Firefox 1.0.3 with the mathml-fonts package installed.
AFAIK, mozilla's MathML support pretty much insists on Adobe's (PS Type1) Symbol
font, and the one that comes from acrobat reader works (for me). I'll work on
an updated mathml-fonts Fedora Extras package to detect/use acroread7's
SY______.pfb if available. (it already has a trigger to use
/usr/lib/acroread/Resource/Font/Symbol.pfa, if available).
Re: Fc3's firefox, see bug #150393
Created attachment 117404 [details]
allow use of Standard Symbols L
Here's a patch I borrowed from Mandrake awhile back that (supposedly) allows
mozilla to use Standard Symbols L instead of Symbol (though it doesn't shut up
the missing "Symbol" complaint).
Fedora Core 3 is now maintained by the Fedora Legacy project for security
updates only. If this problem is a security issue, please reopen and
reassign to the Fedora Legacy product. If it is not a security issue and
hasn't been resolved in the current FC5 updates or in the FC6 test
release, reopen and change the version to match.
Closing per lack of response to previous request for information.
Note that FC3 and FC4 are supported by Fedora Legacy for security
fixes only. Please install a still supported version and retest. If
it still occurs on FC5 or FC6, please reopen and assign to the correct
version. Otherwise, if this a security issue, please change the
product to Fedora Legacy. Thanks, and we are sorry that we did not
get to this bug earlier.