[links-list] Re: fonts fonts fonts .... why not draw them ?

Reinoud buzztoh at 13thmonkey.org
Thu Nov 14 15:31:09 PST 2002

On Thu, Nov 14, 2002 at 01:25:00PM -0800, aludal wrote:
> Hi,
> > Dear links addicts,
> ...and you supposed to be clean of that dope, eh?

LOL hehe no i am not clean on that ;)

> > a different algorithm alltogether but the advantages of blocking is easily
> > done using libz too.
> yeah, we all came to the conclusion already, that bz2 will squeeze out up to 
> 60 % of total redundant filesize, and it's great. Now think of something not 
> so sweet, but sour like ARM 20x-series processor for a PDA which is I believe 
> no better than Pentium 90 MHz for unzipping/font rendering on the fly. It is 
> these silly palmtops/tabletPC/mobile-phone Links might have a good market 
> share. With a theoretical possibility to get 6-8 basic Unicode PNG sets in 
> under 10 MB of (Flash) RAM of these toys, there might be no big need in 
> compressing-decompressing them.

hmm... ARM 20x? you mean StrongARM at 200 Mhz? or do you mean ARM2 ? (if that 
little beasty is still avail... i doubt) ... There have been ARM1, ARM2, 
ARM3, ARM6, ARM 7 and StrongARM's available allthough there is also an 
ARM 8, ARM 9 and ARM 10 but those are pretty embedded normally... I've used 
ARM2-StrongARM but have no experience with ARM8+. The reason you say prolly 
like Pentium 90 is for ARM processors generally lack an FPU :( .... even 
intel's Xscale implementation dropped the FPU thats normally included in 

> > I've also hearded some comments on `why not use freetype2 ?/ Xfonts / ...'
> > ... personally i dont like freetype2 that much allthough the output i've
> > seen is very reasonable to pretty good. The hard dependency on X is prolly
> > not wanted for it might run on a non X system :-D
> I don't like freetype2 either, that's why I use so called Xft Hack instead of 
> it. As for (non-X) DirectFB driver for Links, it might contain some 
> (freetype2, or whatever) font rasterizer backend one day. Or might not, as 
> nobody seems to care. So far, we stick to our X.


> Good! But try now to compete in footprints of both renderer and font(s) with 
> this toy called Font Fusion:
> http://www.bitstream.com/categories/developer/fontfusion/ffoverview.html

OK ... lets calculate ... 35 + 2*16 -> 35+32 = 67 K; mine is about 86k
without the PNG codec; and about 65 K without the RiscOS font renderer and
the PNG codec. Note however that its not a fontrender per sang; its just
one of its features. The kernel is 46 Kb and suports clipping, gradual 
fills etc etc. All measured on a `stripped' archive compiled for StrongARM.

> > Given that a gzipped Courier type1 font definition is about 73 kb too its
> > easy to see that it won't bloat at all....
> Let me see.... A zipped more-or-less complete "lower" Unicode (no CJKV) 
> Courier TrueType is about 330 KB, more-or-less complete zipped Courier-like 
> monospace TrueType CJKV is anything between 3.1 and 4.5 MB, a lower estimate 
> is for "wire" monowidth-stroke characters. All the "bloating talk" was about 
> these, no problem of special concern has ever existed with basic Latin, plus 
> Cyrillics, plus even Arabic/Hebrew/Katakana/Hiragana.

Hu? is a TT font that much bigger? My gv-suplied Courier font isnt that
big; maybe its missing something? Its > 256 chars for sure... maybe +/- 500

Would really love to have some more `exotic' t1 fonts to try out.... if 
anyone has some distributable fonts around of non latin chars please let me 
know! I've only had the chance to try out Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic, Hiragana 
and Katakana but no Chinese nor good Japanese fonts with proper vertical 
stuff offsets etc.

> Oh yeahh.... lots of them.
> 1. Before the Links authors agree to dump their own font renderer, and replace 
> it with your wunderbaby, how about coding some neat standalone ttf2png 
> convertor instead? It would be of HUGE help to the project, as I'm exhausted 
> of cutting italics one by one....

Good point; hmm... t1topng would be easier :-D ... say one that renders
chars and boxes them according to the fontmetrics?

> 2. Talking about PDAs/mobile phones and other crappy displays. Back in 80s, it 
> took Damon Clark et al., at Apple Corp. couple years to cut an excellent Espy 
> family of fonts which, unlike most of todays' stuff, is readable enough on 
> screens of 72 dpi. Apple dumped the whole project for some reason
> (see http://www.damonclark.com/inside/work/work_fonts.htm), switching to 
> Chicago (? or something) instead. So, Espy Serif and Espy Sans became like 
> "abandonware". Sort of. With Apple Corp., not at all. But there are some 
> free/sharewares cuts like (Nu, Neue) Epsy etc. I don't have (ancient) Mac to 
> play with those, but it seems to me that a Links release for embedded devices 
> could contain something like this, instead of bloat Century of today. And, it 
> would be fun to convert these to PNGs, naturally, with your new shining 
> ttf2png convertor.

Neat... are those fonts available in t1 or ttf ? would like to check them 


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