[HarfBuzz] pango and harfbuzz

Behdad Esfahbod behdad at behdad.org
Tue Jun 11 17:41:31 PDT 2013

On 13-06-10 06:04 PM, Felipe Heidrich wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm evaluating pango and harfbuzz to use with javafx and I have a couple
> questions:
> 1) Advance typographic features (i.e
> http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css-fonts/#font-rend-props)
> In pango I was only able to find support for small caps (in PangoVariant)

Correct.  Pango doesn't currently have API to enable those.  Though, it's
straightforward to add.

> In harfbuzz, hb_shape() takes an array of hb_features_t. I suppose any feature
> available in the font can be selected using harfbuzz ?


> 2) glyph advances
> Is there any difference between glyph advances produced harfbuzz and pango ?
> I would like, if possible, to use linear (non-hinted) advances.

No.  With HarfBuzz you have more control over things, but if you disable
hinting and request a font at a large size you are good to go.

> Note that I started with pango since it provides a complete solution including
> -itemizer (not mandatory for me)
> -shaper
> -font fallback (I think)
> -glyph metrics (xMax, yMax, xMin, yMin)
> -glyph images
> -glyph outlines


> Turns out that for most of what I'm doing I also need either cairo or freetype
> to work with pango.
> I'm not 100% on this one, but using cairo does not provide anything extra (as
> it seems cairo uses freetype).
> So instead of using pango+cairo or (pango+freetype) I could directly use
> freetype (for glyph images/outlines/metrics) and harfbuzz (for shaping complex
> text).

You can.  But you have to deal with itemizing, bidi, font fallback, etc, yourself.


> Please advise.
> Thank you
> Felipe
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