This relatively simple patch adds pango support for the status bar. This not only adds TrueType font support but also opens a couple of interesting possibilities that are not possible under barebone xft:
Simple markup for status messages (optional, enable/disable it in your config.h) using pango markup. So you can format your status messages specifying fg/bg colors, sizes, sub/superscripts, underline, emphasis, bold, etc. You can do dynamic font switching, also! To play safe with the rest of the status bar, markup support is restricted to the status message area over which you have direct control.
Fallback fonts, so you can use -for example- some set of iconic fonts as your second family: "DejaVu Sans, Icons 8" (see below). There are tons of monochromatic nice looking TTF icons around the web these days as webfonts are becoming more and more popular. Notice that you can also use the more powerful font switching enabled by pango markup to achieve the same goal. Also don't be mislead by the fact that fontconfig understands descriptors like "DejaVu Sans, Icons-8" or even font sequences defined as alias in your fonts.conf. xft will pick one font once and for all, not on a char-by-char basis.
The Icons family is a non-overlapping merge of Awesome and Ionicons fonts I've made for my statusbar.
- Carlos Pita (memeplex) firstname.lastname@example.org