Xorg and Fonts

Russell Shaw rjshaw at netspace.net.au
Sun Aug 28 21:35:55 PDT 2005

Ely Levy wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Aug 2005, Russell Shaw wrote:
>>>On Thu, 18 Aug 2005, James Cloos wrote:
>>>>>>>>>"Alan" == Alan Coopersmith <Alan.Coopersmith at Sun.COM> writes:
>>>>Alan> I don't think anyone's volunteered to be the font module
>>>>Alan> maintainer yet though.
>>>>I could do that if a volunteer is indeed still needed.
>>Ely Levy wrote:
>> > Would it be more efficient if we start it as another project that might
>> > get into the modular tree later on?
>> > If so anyone else want to join in and help?:)
>> >
>> > Ely Levy
>> > System group
>> > Computer Science
>> > Hebrew University
>> > Jerusalem Israel
>>What is involved as the font module maintainer? Doesn't the 16-bit font
>>protocol need to be thrown out and replaced with 32-bit unicode?
> I think we should include only unicode compatible fonts,
> I don't have much experience maintaining projects but I think
> both of us could do the ground work?

I need to get more familiar with X internals.

> We need to check first there are not duplicate projects and coordinate
> with them if there are.

I'd think anything applicable would have been discussed on this list
or the xfree86 one.

> We should then do more investigating over each
> font exactly what langauges it supports and very important do license
> check on it.

I don't think that would be needed. The clients would just send 4-byte codes
for each character, and it's up to the client programmer or Xserver user to
use an appropriately licenced font for whatever language they want.

Lazy toolkit writers have been going to client-side fonts just to avoid
16-bit X protocol problems instead of fixing it. This is a problem for
anonymous X client servers where the user does not have an account on
the client server for making their own fonts available.

This raises interesting questions. With Xrender, are all characters
sent as tesselated polygons?

If so, wouldn't it use less bandwidth to send the characters as a
polygon glyph initially that gets cached in the X server, then from
then-on, is indexed by character codes?

Is the porter-duff blending operation set for every string sent, or is
it stateful so you only need to set it when required like a graphics

Clients using font-metric information need to be able to get all the
metrics for a whole character set from the X server. The client machine
could have some default fonts for large character sets that would otherwise
need a large download (ie: client-side *and* server-side fonts).

> After that I think we should discuss with the various font projects about
> moving to one central cvs or maintaining the upstream of their font.
> Sounds like a good plan?
> Ely

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