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Re: Antialiased text on X11

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: Antialiased text on X11
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 07:27:38 +0100

[The question of whether to support just xft or try to go for an
entire new rendering layer like Cairo is interesting -- my impression
is that porting to a new rendering layer is actually fairly
straight-forward; it might be the easier task than figuring out the
convoluted Emacs font-selection machinery (required in either case I
guess -- but it means that "xft only" might not be any easier

I have started on Xft support, but it is really something for the release after the next, so I don't spend much time on it yet. I can confirm your reasoning, the Emacs font-selection machinery is indeed the most tricky part, I have not done that fully, so I can't change font yet. But part of the problem is that the Xft font selection is entirely new compared to the old X font selection.

The rendering was not that difficult, it was more finding the right font metrics that required some thought. Finally, the rendering (i.e. the actual drawing of text) is trivial in comparison. To use Cairo would not have helped a bit, rather the opposite. I'd would requre we dump most of the redisplay engine and let Cairo take care of it for Cairo to give any extra value.

I am doing an Xft solution, I did not find the talked about Xft branch, so I started from scratch. The main reason for doing this is that I wanted to use the GTK file selection dialog, but since that dialog displays all fonts, including antialiased, Emacs can currently not use it.

        Jan D.

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