[GRASS-user] Grass-GIS 6.4 font bug in OSX

William Kyngesburye woklist at kyngchaos.com
Mon Sep 27 23:46:21 EDT 2010

Here's the deal.  (The matter has come up before, but real no solutions have been offered.)

The error means what it says.  It comes from FreeType when the old-mac-fonts options is enabled, and there is nothing that FreeType can do to "fix" it, because old-mac-fonts means it needs to use Core Foundation.  The real solution is that programmers using FreeType on OS X 10.5 needs to do as the error suggests, exec() after fork().  This forum topic at Apple describes it concisely:


The quick solution is to build FreeType without old-mac-fonts.  But there are many with an investment in old Resource-fork based fonts (mainly PostScript) and this is not a good solution ($$ to upgrade to OTF).

I don't know why Snow Leopard doesn't have the problem.  Maybe Apple saw that so many had problems with this and reverted, or at least dropped the error (they probably still recommend fork + exec).

I don't know what to do to fix this in GRASS, but there is a list thread referenced in the bug report Markus mentioned that has suggestions from Glynn.

The database problem I think is just an extension of this - that is, it didn't appear until the database connection was used for d.vect labels and the error output was hidden in the X11 monitor process, or was missed by the person who reported the bug.

On Sep 27, 2010, at 5:20 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> Fingers crossed!
> One of the problems Markus cited as associated with database selection, which I have *not* experienced. This is strictly fonts. Thanks in advance for your efforts & assistance!
> Cheers,
> Richard
> On 28/09/10 7:48 AM, William Kyngesburye wrote:
>> Well, it looks like it's coming from FreeType.  There was this problem with Freetype once, but I thought it was fixed.  Strangely, it doesn't affect dfonts, just TT and OTF fonts.  Snow Leopard is OK.
>> I can look into my FreeType framework to see if I messed up something in a recent update.
>> On Sep 27, 2010, at 3:57 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>>> On 27/09/10 11:22 PM, Markus Neteler wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Sep 26, 2010 at 11:12 PM, Richard Chirgwin
>>>> <rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au>   wrote:
>>>>>  Hi,
>>>>> I've just install 6.4 under OSX 10.5.8, and have run into a problem.
>>>>> Reproduced in Spearfish:
>>>>> d.vect bugsites - OK
>>>>> d.vect bugsites display=attr attrcol=str1 - OK
>>>>> d.vect bugsites display=attr attrcol=str1 font='Arial Italic'
>>>>> produces this error, repeated many times:
>>>>> The process has forked and you cannot use this CoreFoundation functionality
>>>>> safely. You MUST exec().
>>>>> Break on
>>>>> to debug.
>>>>> Then the X monitor window closes.

William Kyngesburye <kyngchaos*at*kyngchaos*dot*com>

Earth: "Mostly harmless"

- revised entry in the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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