Re: [dev] [ANNOUNCE] dtext-0.1: Font rendering library

From: Leo Gaspard <>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 21:30:49 +0100

On 02/15/2016 02:55 AM, Sylvain BERTRAND wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 08:03:13PM +0100, Leo Gaspard wrote:
> Hi,
> What is the scope of dtext in perspective of harfbuzz? Do you plan to support
> unicode for a maximum of languages? (heard thai and indi are tough).
> [...]

First, I didn't know about harfbuzz; and it seems that official links
are down (403 Forbidden) right now: [1] and [2].

Then, from what I can infer from wikipedia, HarfBuzz is mostly a library
for text shaping (aka picking where to render glyphs), while dtext is a
way simpler library for text rendering (just give it a position, a
string and a font and it renders it).

The text rendering part seems to work with unicode (at least I have
tried it with japanese characters and it does display them as one would

Then, it is not a text shaping tool: if you give it a string, it will
render it left to right from the point you give it. I just tried what
happens when putting RTL char \u0200 in the string, and, as expected, it
just displays as a space.

This is for a reason: ease of use. When you're in a terminal, you don't
want your text to suddenly have part of it that is right-to-left,
especially if you just used cat on an innocuous-looking file. And you
don't want to have to parse the string first before using it.

So I guess our two project are just complementary: yours may be used in
places where the content is supposed to be fancy (eg. as a webkit
backend), while dtext would be better used as a replacement for libXft
(and perhaps FontConfig).



Received on Mon Feb 15 2016 - 21:30:49 CET

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