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Re: [ft-devel] "Inside the fastest font renderer in the world" (Re: Free

From: Hin-Tak Leung
Subject: Re: [ft-devel] "Inside the fastest font renderer in the world" (Re: Freetype-devel Digest, Vol 139, Issue 3)
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 18:24:12 +0000 (UTC)

I saw the post about it earlier on typedrawers. If it wasn't because of the 
poster - Raph Levien - I'd just laugh it off. I'd usually be skeptical of such 
a claim - because, in the end of the day, everything is machine instructions, 
right? Shouldn't make any difference what language something is written in, if 
your compiler is good enough. I trust Raph made a valid claim though. However:

- the main strength of FreeType is not speed - though it is amazingly fast. the 
main strength is that it has had random crap thrown at it for 20+ years. Doing 
rendering on perfectly valid and good fonts is fine, so Raph's answer 
definitely earns its place, in the environment where Google concentrates on 
Androids, etc - make it very fast for *selected good* fonts. Random crap fonts? 
Don't know how adding error recovery etc slows down the new solution yet.

- the exotic language Rust. Finding people to maintain/contribute code written 
in a niche language (and quite an unusual one as that) is hard. It may bit-rot 
if the origin owner loses interests.

It is hard enough to find people to contribute to the font validator, which is 
in C#, rather common in windows land; and C# is close enough to both Java and 
C, etc. Rust I heard is similar to Objective Caml, which is in turn similar to 
haskell... (I heard!).

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