[Fontconfig] A few facts about font rendering

Ciprian Popovici ciprian at zuavra.net
Tue Nov 25 08:26:05 EST 2003

On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 13:55:09 -0500 Ambrose Li <acli at ada.dhs.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 24, 2003 at 04:28:05PM +0200, Ciprian Popovici
> wrote:
> > * 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.

I see. I assumed xft, freetype or xrender would be used since they were
shipped with XFree, after all. On the other hand, I can see that the
usual GTKv1 application, for instance, isn't linked against any of those

Ciprian Popovici

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