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Re: Alternative music font

From: Simon Tatham
Subject: Re: Alternative music font
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:58:25 +0100

Jan Nieuwenhuizen <address@hidden> wrote:

> is a bit problematic.  We do not want to ship font binaries, but
> I suppose we also do not want to add half an hour build time.
> I guess you feel the same: it would really be nice if you found
> a way to reduce the font build time :-)

Absolutely! The half hour is an utter pain for me too, of course.

The current rendering scheme is the simplest one I could think up in
terms of development time: I generate trivial Postscript describing
a lot of overlapping nib shapes moving round the curves, call
Ghostscript to render to a bitmap, then call potrace to convert back
into outlines. Some rough-and-ready timing measurements suggest that
Ghostscript is the major consumer of CPU time in this process; my
guess is that it ought to be possible to write a much more efficient
rasteriser if I know it's only going to have to deal with a tiny
subset of the full PS rendering model.

I've half thought out a much more ambitious approach that doesn't go
through a physical bitmap at any point (and hence ought to improve
the quality of the output outlines too, due to losing the resolution
bottleneck), but I haven't yet worked out whether it's too ambitious
to be feasible, or indeed too ambitious for me to have time to try
it :-)

Simon Tatham         What do we want?        ROT13!
<address@hidden>   When do we want it?     ABJ!

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