Re: [dev] [patch] dmenu - support for xft font rendering

From: Kris Maglione <>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2010 15:30:51 -0400

On Wed, Sep 01, 2010 at 06:00:17PM +0100, Ethan Grammatikidis wrote:
> Connor Lane Smith wrote:
>> If someone were to write a simple clean xft patch for libdraw it could
>> be useful, perhaps even integrated into mainline.
> This may just be my limited perspective, or it may be my upset stomach
> talking, but I'm very surprised to see xft seriously suggested in this
> mailing list. Xft is (to me) synonymous with the transition of
> from something bad but usable into a black box nightmare best left to
> distro tools to cope with. Maybe it wasn't so bad for other people,
> maybe it got better.

As bad as Xft/fontconfig is, the X font system is worse. At
least with Xft, you can copy just about any font you like (TTF,
OTF, Type-1, PCF, BDF) to ~/.fonts and then use it. You also
don't need to worry about having scaled bitmaps for every font
size that you want. And, probably most importantly, you don't
need to deal with hoary and inscrutable X font spec strings.

On the other hand, you need to edit XML to make configuration
changes and deal with aweful scaling issues with bitmap fonts
unless you use :pixelsize=whatever: in the spec. In my
experience, Xft also deals with UTF-8 significantly better than
the Xlib implementation, which is the reason I've started using
it locally (with non-AA fonts nonetheless).

Kris Maglione
Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be
one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of
blindfolded Fear.
	--Thomas Jefferson
Received on Wed Sep 01 2010 - 21:30:51 CEST

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