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Re: Thoughts on font management

From: Isaiah Beerbower
Subject: Re: Thoughts on font management
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 12:01:18 -0500

On 11/30/07, Fred Kiefer <address@hidden> wrote:
> Isaiah Beerbower wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > A while back there was some discussion about the way GNUstep handles
> > fonts. The two ways discussed were nfont bundles and fontconfig. I
> > like nfonts because they give you more control over how your fonts are
> > organized, but I also like the fontconfig method because it makes font
> > installation easier for fonts which don't need to be organized beyond
> > the computers knowhow. I would like to propose a new method  which
> > gives both advantages.
> >
> > If we used a GNUstep maintained font index plist as our only cache and
> > used fontconfig + FreeType for retrieving information from font files
> > except when we come across an nfont (in which case we would read its
> > plist) we would receive many advantages from both sides:
> >
> > * Those who want to distribute a font family in a pre-organized way
> > can do so using an nfont.
> >
> > * Those who don't, won't have to do anything.
> >
> > * Those who want to keep their fonts organized a specific way can
> > either put them all into nfonts, or change values in the font index.
> >
> > * Those who don't care aren't bothered.
> >
> > * GNUstep gets to choose which folders get indexed.
> >
> > We can also put other information in the index (if we want) such as
> > wether an installed font is enabled or not.
> >
> > The index I am envisioning at this point would be a plist with an
> > array of dictionaries, each dictionary holding the path to a font
> > file, the file's last modification date, the font's family name,
> > postscript name, style, whether it should use anti-aliasing or not,
> > etc., etc..
> >
> > I would like this for cairo, but if it can be coded once then used in
> > art also, that would be great to.
> >
> > I'm ready to implement such a thing if acceptable.
> >
> Sounds like a nice idea to me, but I would prefer to see code, before I
> judge on it :-)

In that case I'll write some ...

> As I understand it, the nfont model provides more information per font
> than we can get from FT and FC. How would your code try to substitute
> values for that?

I believe the problem with using fontconfig was that it doesn't cache
the postscript name. The postscript name can be accessed with
FreeType, but you have to cache it yourself.

- Isaiah Beerbower


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