FreeType patented bytecode interpreter now in rawhide

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Fri Dec 4 16:51:25 UTC 2009

Matěj Cepl wrote:
> can we hope for the update in F12 as well, please?

Well, that would change the looks of our default DejaVu fonts a lot. 
(freetype-freeworld currently disables the BCI for the DejaVu family by 
default for that reason, which has always been a controversial move, I'll of 
course stop doing that from F13 on.) I'm not convinced this is a good idea 
to ship as an update.

>> Note that the subpixel stuff remains disabled as it was.
> What does this exactly mean? If I have freetype-freeworld installed can
> I get rid of it now (well, when this comes to F12)?

If you need subpixel antialiasing, no. I will continue to build freetype-
freeworld packages for the subpixel stuff.

> Will we have also cairo and pango (whichever is relevant) upgraded to use
> it?

"It" as in subpixel rendering? There have been patches to Cairo to use the 
FreeType subpixel filters, they even remove some probably patent-encumbered 
code (dumb subpixel filters) from Cairo itself, but still they haven't been 
accepted yet. :-(

As FreeType always provides the relevant APIs, just implemented as dummies 
which always return an error, it's perfectly possible to make the decision 
whether to use freetype-freeworld's subpixel filters at runtime (e.g. Qt 4 
does that).

As for the BCI, it should need no special support from Cairo nor Pango.

        Kevin Kofler

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