Re: [dev] st bug report and feature request

From: Ethan Grammatikidis <>
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2011 05:19:33 +0100

On Sat, 8 Oct 2011 15:06:25 +0200
Aurélien Aptel <> wrote:

> The only previous
> experience I had in this was SDL_ttf on one of my pet project, which
> is ridiculously simple and straightforward to use albeit not very fast
> I guess.

It's meant for games, it may well be as quick as they can make it. That
said, urxvt can be depressingly slow with ttf fonts. I switched to
Aterm on my old PDA since the urxvt build was ttf-only.

> st will never work as well as the next emulator as long as I limit
> myself to X11 core libs. It's just too much work and more importantly
> it will end up littered with boiler plate code and workaround of X11
> apis. I won't do it. st has already too much of it. So if anyone has
> preference towards another font system, let's talk about it.

Plan 9's has probably been brought up before; I'm just mentioning it
for completeness. The font format is simple, the means of drawing it is
also -- it's just image blitting, and it's loose enough that fonts can
be antialiased, and even subpixel enhanced. There is a tool for
converting from from ttf too.

I'm not sure what reasons there might be to prefer it over SD_ttf. The
conversion from vector to bitmap happens only once instead of caching
the bitmap data every time the program is run (which is what I suppose
SDL_ttf does). A possibly better reason is that Plan 9 fonts are readily
hackable. The bitmap files are _subfonts_, the actual font files are
textual lists of subfonts covering various ranges of chars.
Received on Sun Oct 09 2011 - 06:19:33 CEST

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