To fix the font parsing issue, you probably need to explicitly configure
for Xft. Before you ask, Xft is not the default because, frankly speaking,
the implementation in XEmacs sucks. It's only fit for use by people who
don't need to ask the kinds of questions you're asking. That said, *they*
mostly think it's great, so if you're willing to continue asking questions
until you've got things working as you like (you're always welcome to ask
here), add "--with-xft=all" to your configure command and rebuild.
You will need at least the fontconfig and Xft development packages from
your distro. I don't know if those are provided by the command Uwe
suggested, I don't use Ubuntu (or Debian workstation configurations, for
I can't guarantee that using Xft will fix the font parsing issue, as I
believe that GNOME uses a similar syntax to Xft but Xft can't parse it,
and we have no code in place to transform it to Xft's preferred format.
But we should be able to tell you how to transform it by hand.
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