After installing gentoo linux, I installed GNOME and KDE according to "Desktop
Istallation Guide". The installation was smooth and easy. But when I entered my
new GNOME desktop, I noticed, that Mozilla is unable to show russian web-pages,
replacing the cyrillic letters with quatters with 4 digits. Also were
unavailable Hebrew web-sites, those displayed underscores "_" instead of
letters. After little investigation I figured out, that all GNOME applications
behave the same way, while KDE works correctly (Konqueror shows both Russian and
Hebrew). The problem disapered after "emerge fontconfig", but it made english
letters to look really ugly. I used GNOME "Font preferences" application, so the
application font is now Arial, which is a way better.
* Find what's wrong with cyrillic and hebrew fonts in gnome without fontconfig
* Suggest user to install fontconfig when he installs gnome, or make fontconfig
a dependancy of gnome, so it will be installed automatically
* Fix fontconfig, so it does not ruin the buitifull english font that was before
can you give us more information on what version you are using for each piece of software you are mentioning?
you should know about some of these issues, so how does this cyrillic stuff work with GNOME? maybe the font is missing from fontconfig or something?
reporter did an emerge fontconfig and the initial problem dissapeared, suggesting he used an old fontconfig with old default setup. These sort of things are very dependant on fontpacks that are used. Pango uses fallback algorithms that pick the next best font if the font of first choice doesn't contain certain chars. If some russian font has crappy latin (hmm you know, english) glyphs it will use those.
This is all quite hard to get right, especially in one setup or probably impossible even. In the future we should maybe have locale specific fontconfig setups or something.
Anyway back to the report, fontconfig is installed by default on any recent setup with gnome (and even just xfree), so i don't really see what your problem is besides you don't like the defaults much.
reporter you should probably install some additional fonts for non-latin stuff. This is not a gnome bug btw, it's a fonts setup problem (do not assign directly next time please).
not much we can do about localized font setups at this time.