[HarfBuzz] Intro to HarfBuzz

Tom Hacohen tom.hacohen at partner.samsung.com
Mon Aug 30 02:21:44 PDT 2010

Dear all,

My name is Tom and I work on the Hebrew and Arabic support of
enlightenment.org (efl/e17).

Until now, I based my work on the FriBiDi shaper. I've heard the name
HarfBuzz in the past, and was planning to use it for a while now, and
the lack of ligatures support in FriBiDi was the final incentive for the

I looked in Pango's and HarfBuzz's source code a bit and I have a couple
of questions:
1. What can HarfBuzz do? I know it can shape and help finding correct
line breaks what else? Are the features I mentioned correct? Is there a
text somewhere that explains a bit about HarfBuzz?
2. How does it interact with FreeType?
3. I noticed that the shaper code accepts 16bit unicode strings, why not
32? Should I convert my 32code points to 16 before calling to the HB
functions? Or is there a better way? (A secret set of 32bit
functions ;P).

I think those questions are enough to get me started.

Thanks a lot,

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