Friday, April 11, 2003

Today I reinstalled mozilla for Linux, Persian/Arabic sites weren't working. Previously I had "unstable" in my /etc/apt//sources.list and just had done apt-get update, then apt-get upgrade, and it gave me a 2003-03-27 Mozilla. But the Unicode/UTF-8 support was completely broken. I spent six hours with xfstt (X font server true type), xfs, xfs-xtt, gucharmap, gfontview, mkfontdir, ttmkfdir, copying TrueType fonts from my windows partition, stuffing around with pref.js to make it recognize truetype fonts based on the advice on, etc. Nothing worked!!! Just then I said to hell with it, erased all vestiges of mozilla from my system, then downloaded the generic version 1.3 from, and ran the installer. Now everything works fine again.

The problem was that it couldn't seem to find any unicode fonts, so I was just getting boxes with numbers. What's the moral? Maybe, don't upgrade mindlessly?! If it's not broken, don't fix it, perhaps? Yet the Linux kernel releases up to 2.4.20 (the most recent) have been vulnerable to a local root exploit involving ptrace, requiring an immediate fix.

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