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RE: [ft-devel] memory fragmentation

From: Graham Asher
Subject: RE: [ft-devel] memory fragmentation
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 13:31:55 +0100

Dear FreeTypers,

I and my colleague Lex Warners have ported FreeType (as a part of our map
drawing library, CartoType) to several embedded OSs that aren't booted
often, and there were no problems with memory fragmentation, as far as we
could tell from benchmarking and testing, on any of them.

There was, however, a problem with heap speed (not fragmentation) on Palm OS
5, so we ported Doug Lea's excellent malloc implementation (dlmalloc) and
used that instead of the heap functions provided as part of the standard
run-time library. We also added a small fast cache of small heap blocks.

The operating systems that FreeType runs on as part of CartoType are:

Symbian OS (Series 60 and UIQ platforms)
Palm OS 5 (using native ARM code, not 68000 emulation)
Microsoft Pocket PC 2003

It is confirmation of FreeType's portability that we had very few
difficulties with the porting. However, for lack of a reason to change, we
have stayed with FreeType 2.14 rather than tracking the bewildering sequence
of newer versions, some of which seem to have been less stable.

In conclusion, I don't think it's necessary to modify FreeType's memory
allocation strategy.

Best regards,

Graham Asher
Cartography Ltd.

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