[Fontconfig] A few facts about font rendering

Ambrose Li acli at ada.dhs.org
Tue Nov 25 05:55:09 EST 2003

On Mon, Nov 24, 2003 at 04:28:05PM +0200, Ciprian Popovici

> * The "old model" of doing things was somewhat similar to
> the modern chain above. Except for a few things: instead
> of fontconfig, X used (and continues using) its own font
> retrieval mechanism in the form of FontPath or the X Font
> Server. (Can't fontconfig replace them? If yes, why hasn't
> it? Is it for backwards compatibility?) Just like the modern
> chain, it uses Xft, freetype and xrender. Xft has suffered
> a few transformations, moving from it's own font retrieval
> mechanism (XftConfig) in 1.0 to using fontconfig in 1.1, and
> to a more advanced use of Xrender in 2.0.

AFAIK this is wrong. The "old model" does not involve any of
Xft, freetype, and xrender, all of which are quite (very) recent
inventions; rather, because fonts reside on the X server, the
app only need to tell the server what string (as text) to draw
on the screen.  An "old" X app can use these new libraries if
the programmer had intended to use those libraries, but their
use would have nothing at all to do with the traditional way
fonts are used in X.

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