[Fontconfig] Problem with bitmap fonts

Pat Suwalski pat at suwalski.net
Tue Feb 3 12:36:15 PST 2009

Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
> I've got this bug report against pango [1].  In short, the problem is that
> fontconfig prefers bitmap fonts of the right family name but arbitrarily far
> away font size over fonts with the right font size (perhaps non-bitmap) but
> wrong family name.  Sounds useful at first, except that if you happen to ask
> for "Times 96" and get a bitmap "Times" 12px, that doesn't really help.

Yes, this is a very real problem for things generated in a classic Mac 
environment where the "Times" font was a scalable font, and, of course, 
the Helvetica font, which is a very common Type1/TrueType font and has a 
bitmap font by default in X.

Why scale it at all? If the user asks for 18px, we don't want to stretch 
a 12px bitmap font to 18, and we wouldn't want to show it at 12 either. 
I think the bitmap font matching should be an exact thing only. That's 
why bitmap fonts ship with a variety of pixel sizes to start with. If 
they can't satisfy the rendering, don't use it.

Actually, isn't that exactly how bitmap information embedded into 
True/OpenType is handled?


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