After some research, I've discovered some things about fonts, gimp, and linux. (Some of this may be old news to many of you, but it was new to me because I'm not a font expert.) On RH8.0 (and probably other dist's as well) there are 3 font handlers. The first is the traditional X font server "xfs" or "xfstt" on some systems. The other two font handlers are Xft and the new Xft2. Xfs gets it's configuration from the familiar /etc/X11/XF86Config file and from /etc/X11/fs/config. Nothing new here. The Xft font handler uses /etc/X11/XftConfig for it's config (it may also be in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11 as well). But the newest version of Xft called Xft2 uses a pair of new config files which live in /etc/fonts called "fonts.conf" and "fonts.dtd".
It seems that Gnome now uses Xft2 for it's fonts because when I added the directories to the new config file, then ran "fc-cache" in the font directory, the new fonts suddenly became available to Gnome applications with the exception of Gimp. I also added the new font directories to the older XftConfig file so that they would be available to any app using Xft. Gimp now sees the fonts, but only about a third of them look right. The other two-thirds seem to be using a default font in place of the actual selected font. So for example, if I chose one of the microsoft fonts, I get the default "sans" font instead.
This situtation kinda sucks because I have a lot of nice looking fonts which are useless under 1.3.10, but work perfectly under 1.2.3. I'm not sure why the font hadlers have become so fragmented under X/Gnome/Gimp, but it would be nice if there was some way to regain the use of the font libraries which worked under earlier versions of Gimp.

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