[cairo] Struggling with subpixel text (last blocker for 1.8)

Behdad Esfahbod behdad at behdad.org
Tue Sep 30 13:14:26 PDT 2008

Carl Worth wrote:
> Meanwhile, I do not think that speculation on the impact of patents is
> appropriate for the cairo mailing list. But I will say at least this
> much:
>> "Hmm, the system FreeType says sub-pixel support isn't legal here, but
>> we'll provide it anyway because that's how it's always been done."
> No. The fact that freetype was compiled with its default options in no
> way suggests that someone has made a ruling about the legality (or
> illegality) of code that wasn't compiled.
> A much more likely explanation is that the distributor (Debian, say) of
> a freetype package, (2.3.7, say), had no idea that there was new code in
> freetype, (subpixel rendering), not compiled by default. And if
> applications are using cairo or Xft for that functionality, how would
> the distributor even know that there's unused and uncompiled code
> available in the freetype source distribution.

As a "distributor" let me tell that we're not that clueless.  Because we
follow upstream projects, and read release notes.  Indeed when FreeType added
subpixel filtering support, we made sure that it's turned off in Fedora, and
provided an option for users to enable it via a rebuild if they desire too.
I'm sure there are quite a few other distributions in the same competency scale.


> -Carl

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