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

From: Kris Maglione <>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2010 17:49:04 -0400

On Thu, Sep 02, 2010 at 11:30:18PM +0200, Uriel wrote:
>> I certainly think that having such possibility will be good.
>> I know that font systems are a quite mad, and utf8 is far
>> more complex than just plain ascii or bitmapped fonts. In
>> fact ttf is a virtual machine, and opentype supports as weird
>> things as many different capital letters or combinations of
>> two chars. This is great for typographic ppl, and they tend
>> to defend this position in benefit of ease of reading.
>I know nothing about all this crap, but why not just use FreeType to
>render the fonts into a bitmap, and ignore the whole retarded
>X-font-systems? Or you could just use the *real* libdraw, which
>handles bitmap fonts quite nicely (and if you want another font at
>another size, you can always generate it).

Have you ever *tried* to write a text rendering engine from
scratch using Freetype? It's not as simple as it sounds. First
you actually have to find the fonts, lookup their names and
variants, and decide which one to use based on an arbitrary
name. Then you have to individually render and kern each
individual glyph, which isn't actually too terribly bad, but
it's much, much more complicated than using one of the X
libraries. I'd considered doing it in the past, but it's not
worth it. I'm currently planning to replace the godawful
fontconfig XML configuration on with a Scheme-based lookup
system which may save my sanity, though.

Kris Maglione
It's always good to take an orthogonal view of something.  It develops
	--Ken Thompson
Received on Thu Sep 02 2010 - 23:49:04 CEST

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