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bug#21028: Slow font rendering in emacs

From: Ralf Jung
Subject: bug#21028: Slow font rendering in emacs
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:54:01 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

Hi all,

I think I ran into the issue described here as well:  If I am not
careful with the way I configure my fonts, emacs becomes pretty slow at
rendering them.  With my old laptop, actually merely navigating the
cursor large files (like
already was noticeably luggish.  My new laptop is fast enough to make
that not noticeable, but when I actually process the file (it's a file
to be run by the Coq proof assistant, I am using the ProofGeneral emacs
plugin for that), then it moves through the file much slower when I set
up my fonts in the "wrong" way.

Here's the setup which makes things behave badly:

(dolist (ft (fontset-list))
  ; Main font
  (set-fontset-font ft 'unicode (font-spec :name "Monospace" :size 11.0))
  ; Fallback font
  (set-fontset-font ft 'unicode (font-spec :name "DejaVu Sans Mono"
:size 11.0) nil 'append)

And here's the one I use instead, which behaves much better:

(dolist (ft (fontset-list))
  ; Main font
  (set-fontset-font ft 'unicode (font-spec :name "Monospace" :size 11.0))
  ; Fallback font
  (set-fontset-font ft nil (font-spec :name "DejaVu Sans Mono" :size 11.0))

(For the record, my "Monospace" font is "Fira Sans Mono".)

Configuring fonts in emacs to get proper unicode rendering is already
fairly difficult; it'd be great if this bug could be fixed so that one
doesn't have to care both about performance and about selecting the
right glyph for the right character.

Kind regards,

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