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

From: Graham Asher
Subject: Re: [ft-devel] "Inside the fastest font renderer in the world"
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 09:09:37 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0


I see your point, but I think that adding obfuscation (the extra complexity introduced by using C) to the code to support a tiny and vanishing minority of systems without C++ is not worth the bother; such systems would very probably not be able to run FreeType in any case because of lack of support for 32-bit integers; and I doubt very much whether they would have any need to rasterize glyphs.

There's an interesting discussion here ( which gives both sides of the issue, but which contains many errors and irrelevancies... however, I respect your point of view and won't tread a well-worn path again.

Best regards,


On 05/08/2016 09:00, Werner LEMBERG wrote:

I might take a look at it, but no guarantees about my availability.
Thanks for the offer anyway :-)

I would convert it into C++, not C; C++ is a better fit, and there
is really no point in using C these days.
I disagree.  As far as I know, there are still embedded systems that
don't have a C++ compiler (and probably never will).  Given that
everything in FreeType is C, it would be a severe complication if just
a single file becomes C++.  In other words, I would have to convert
your C++ code in C, which means double work...

As an alternative, there is

a Rust-to-C compiler – has anyone tried this?  I don't know whether it
produces code which runs as fast as the Rust equivalent.  If this
works reliably, I could imagine to have both a Rust source file and
its translation in the FreeType git repository.  Unfortunately,
`crust' needs a huuuge set of preliminaries...


Graham Asher
founder and CTO
CartoType Ltd
+44 (0) 7718 895191

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