[tex-live] fc-cache documentation ?

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Sat Aug 27 15:59:36 CEST 2016

Arthur Reutenauer wrote:
>> But I am still puzzled as to know how how Knuth's "B L User" is intended to (a) learn of the existence of fc-cache (and presumably, some of the other fc-tools), (b) understand their potential importance in terms of the run-time for XeTeX and friends, and (c) learn how/when to invoke fc-cache.
> By reading the documentation?  Try “texdoc xetex-reference”.
> Fontconfig is mentioned in the second paragraph of the part about fonts.
But there is no mention of "fc-cache" (the only "fc-" command mentioned is "fc-list").  To be told that "the font is looked up through the operating system, using the fontconfig library" does not really make it clear that if one is experiencing significant delays loading fonts that one needs to search outside the TeX Live documentation in order to learn how to address such issues.  One might reasonably think that if a major component of TeX Live such as XeTeX relies heavily on another component (fontconfig) that is installed /as a part of/ TeX Live (all instances of fc-cache.exe on my computer reside in *:\TeX\Live\*\bin\win32), then (a) the TeX Live manager might expose an interface to fontconfig, (b) that the TeX Live documentation might make some mention the importance of fc-cache, and (c) that if running fc-cache is a necessary prerequisite to obtaining satisfactory performance when compiling XeTeX source files, that fc-cache might be run automatically (or
semi-automatically) rather than relying on the user (a) having heard of it and (b) thinking to use it ...
>> is the latter a completely separate subsystem on which TeX Live depends but does not invoke directly nor document in any way ?
>>   Yes, it is.  
Ah.  Thank you.
> Had you really not heard of it before?
Clearly I must have read at least once of "fc-cache", otherwise I could never have thought to try it, but how, when and where I learned of its existence I wot not.

Philip Taylor
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