[HarfBuzz] graphite 1.0.1 released

Martin Hosken mhosken at gmail.com
Mon Aug 8 19:37:20 PDT 2011

Dear Shriramana,

> Without any offence to anybody, and with no desire to bash OT but only 
> to make things "clear" (?) it appears (from this) that the basic 
> principle upon which OT lookup tables were designed aren't very 
> effective. Is that so?

No that is far from the case. OpenType is generally quicker because much of the complexity in shaping can be implemented in code, and working with underlying data structures, rather than generic fsm+engine code, allows for various optimisations, etc. But writing all that shaping code centralises the solution to the shaping problems that people face and so the cost of addressing those problems, is in updating library code. (Which then needs to be distributed, etc.) Graphite, OTOH is designed to address the use cases where current shaping is insufficient by providing a generic solution mechanism. But that generality costs, and we work very hard to get it running fast.

So OT and Graphite are addressing similar problems in different ways. In summary, OT aims to solve the 80% problem and Graphite to solve the 20% problem (in the traditional arbitrary 80:20 split, not reflecting the real ratio which nobody knows). They do not compete because you can support both in the same font.

I realise that I have presented one view on this, and that others will have differing opinions, particularly on the relative importance of the 80% vs the 20% (or is that 98% and 2%?).

> > It being an external library has nothing to do with it.
> Oh -- right -- I learnt this early along my (limited) programming 
> knowledge but forgot it -- since there is direct linkage of the HB code 
> against the Graphite library, it is fast. (Right?)

In effect, yes.


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