Default fonts with emacsclient/emacs --daemon

I've been using set-default-font in my .emacs file to configure emacs to use my favorite programming font.

(set-default-font "Droid Sans Mono Slashed-10") ;;; set default font

I use emacs --daemon to keep an instance of emacs running as a background process on my development machine so that I can run emacsclient to call up an emacs window (frame) instantaneously (and keep the same session running even after a close the emacs frame).

Suddenly (after an aptitude safe-upgrade, I think, but I'm not sure what triggered this change), emacs frames that are created by emacsclient connecting to the emacs --daemon instance no longer used my default font when initially opened. The default font worked properly for stand-alone emacs instances (opened with emacs), and for emacsclient, executing (set-default-font) after startup worked fine, but it no longer worked automatically.

To fix this, I had to set up a default-frame-alist, which I believe defines commands to execute whenever a new frame is opened.

(set-default-font "Droid Sans Mono Slashed-10") ;;; set default font
(setq default-frame-alist '((font . "Droid Sans Mono Slashed-10"))) ;;; set default font for emacs --daemon / emacsclient

By the way, I also discovered the describe-font elisp function while trying to diagnose this issue.

(describe-font "Droid Sans Mono Slashed-10")
;; or M-x describe-font <RETURN> Droid Sans Mono Slashed-10 <RETURN>

which opens a *Help* buffer containing:

name (opened by): -unknown-Droid Sans Mono Slashed-normal-normal-normal-*-13-*-*-*-m-0-iso10646-1
       full name: Droid Sans Mono Slashed:pixelsize=13:foundry=unknown:weight=normal:slant=normal:width=normal:spacing=100:scalable=true
            size: 13
          height: 17
 baseline-offset:  0
relative-compose:  0
Published 11 May 2013
Tagged emacs and elisp.


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