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Adobe Open-Sources CFF Rasterizer For FreeType

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  • Adobe Open-Sources CFF Rasterizer For FreeType

    Phoronix: Adobe Open-Sources CFF Rasterizer For FreeType

    Adobe has open-sourced their advanced CFF rasterizer for the FreeType project. This Adobe contribution, along with the support of Google, will improve FreeType font rendering on Linux and other platforms...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM2MzU

  • #2
    That's nice, considering this is one of those things many people seem to gripe about when it comes to linux. Personally I think linux renders fonts just fine, in fact on my 1080p TV, text is far more legible and less glitchy looking on linux (and mac for that matter) than it is on windows.

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    • #3
      Also my thought, I find Linux font rendering is better than windows or OSX.

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      • #4
        Lcdfilter

        These are the settings I currently use (as shown by xrdb -query), and the fonts looks very good:

        Xft.antialias: 1
        Xft.hintstyle: hintfull
        Xft.rgba: rgb
        Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault

        For those who (like me) use XFCE, there is no way to turn on the lcdfilter (which I've found improves font appearance) from the configuration, so you have to type the following command in a terminal:

        xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Xft/Lcdfilter -n -t string -s lcddefault

        More info: http://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-settings/appearance

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        • #5
          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
          That's nice, considering this is one of those things many people seem to gripe about when it comes to linux.
          This contribution has absolutely nothing to do with TrueType fonts normal users normally encounter.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
            This contribution has absolutely nothing to do with TrueType fonts normal users normally encounter.
            What are you talking about? Of course it's a benefit for every user because postscript fonts can be rendered nicely.
            This is a great move by Adobe.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nuc!eoN View Post
              What are you talking about?
              You should read the part that you quoted. I was replying to a post that claimed that “many people” complain about Linux font rendering and “many people” usually encounter TrueType fonts. PostScript fonts are usually used for print. Therefore “many people” are not affected by that contribution.

              Originally posted by Nuc!eoN View Post
              This is a great move by Adobe.
              I wasn't discrediting the contribution. I so far didn't comment even on the quality of the contribution at all.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
                This contribution has absolutely nothing to do with TrueType fonts normal users normally encounter.
                Intersting observation. I spend a lot of time writing [fiction and technical] and read constantly. I'm not running into many well published TrueType Font works.

                Of course, in a Display Postscript world of NeXT I was spoiled by the quality of display output. Tradeoffs were then made with OS X due to changing the Display engine to Display PDF and how the world became obsessed with the Web and thus cheap TrueType fonts. Yet I imagine a lot of industries will be thrilled to have quality output in the likes of Linux/FreeBSD and not be beholden to either OS X or Windows.

                Fonts are far better quality in OS X, though Freetype is an excellent engine. I'm sure all the crap they've been going through working around legal issues with CFF/TrueType patents is a big sigh of relief. Application developers will be thrilled.

                We will soon once again come into another Internet lull period.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
                  This contribution has absolutely nothing to do with TrueType fonts normal users normally encounter.
                  Yes, this rasterizer 'only' supports .otf fonts, however as far as I know pretty much all new fonts, including pretty much all the Google webfonts are available in .otf format. Also you can convert between the formats, chances are something is lost in the translation, that I am unsure of.

                  Overall from what I've read, otf (cff) is a superior format for font creators as it effectively passes on much of the difficulty of hinting to the rasterizer rather than having to manually embed the hinting information into the font. This new (CFF) rasterizer is already implemented in Windows font rendering engines (WPF, DirectWrite) and is afaik the rasterizer which is used in Windows phones and tablets when rendering text.

                  As I'm not using the Windows fonts on my machine but rather those from Webfonts including Droid Sans (my 'standard' font), Source Code Pro (my coding font) etc, and that these are all available in .otf format, I'm happy to see an improved rasterizer. Of course just because it says 'improved' doesn't mean that I will find it preferable as font rendering quality is a very subjective thing.

                  For example I find the Apple OSX font rendering to be 'fuzzy' but I'm certain that if I used it for a relatively long time it would look fine to me, just as nowadays if I sit down on a Windows box I think the font rendering looks off, while back when I was using Windows I thought the font rendering looked nice.

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                  • #10
                    what does this mean for the libertine fonts?

                    I really like the linux libertine fonts.
                    What does this new rasterizer mean for these fonts?

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                    • #11
                      What does this mean for Libertine fonts?

                      Hi I really like the Linux Libertine fonts ( http://www.linuxlibertine.org/index.php?id=1&L=1 )
                      What does this new rasterizer mean for these fonts, can it be used?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MageiaFan27 View Post
                        I really like the linux libertine fonts.
                        What does this new rasterizer mean for these fonts?
                        Well since the sourceforge repository where you download the fonts does have OTF versions of them available you should get better font rendering (if Adobe's and Google's claims concerning the superiority of the CFF rasterizer is correct) when the new rasterizer makes it into Freetype, assuming of course that you install the said .otf version instead of the .ttf version.

                        On the sourceforge page it would be this package: http://sourceforge.net/projects/linu...2.tgz/download

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                          Yes, this rasterizer 'only' supports .otf fonts, however as far as I know pretty much all new fonts, including pretty much all the Google webfonts are available in .otf format.
                          When you have absolutely no clue about font formats, check Wikipedia first before posting bullshit here, can you?

                          OpenType (.otf) files can host glyphs in either of two formats: TrueType or PostScript CFF.

                          The OpenType specification was a collaboration between Microsoft and Adobe and as anybody with half a brain could guess, the Microsoft fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, etc. – i.e. what “many people” encounter) are in TrueType format, just as common Linux fonts (DejaVu, Liberation, KDE’s Oxygen fonts, Google's Droid and Roboto fonts for Android, Ubuntu font,…) are in TrueType format.

                          CFF fonts are commonly used by users of InDesign and other Adobe products not used by common people.

                          OpenType fonts containing TrueType glyphs can have either an .otf or .ttf file extension. Just because a file is named .otf doesn't mean that there re CFF glyphs inside.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
                            CFF fonts are commonly used by users of InDesign and other Adobe products not used by common people.

                            OpenType fonts containing TrueType glyphs can have either an .otf or .ttf file extension. Just because a file is named .otf doesn't mean that there re CFF glyphs inside.
                            Ah yes, I was under the misconception that .otf font files were using the CFF format, I was wrong. So these CFF format fonts are mainly professional fonts used in print ? Also why provide .otf format fonts if they contain nothing but an embedded truetype font, why not simply provide a .ttf?

                            In my defence I was somewhat fooled by a discussion where people using Microsoft Surface tablets (yes, apparently there are some) were wondering why the font rendering there wasn't using ClearType subpixel hinting and someone there said that this was because Microsoft was using Adobe CFF font rasterization for their mobile products, which now sounds unlikely.

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                            • #15
                              I took a look at the Linux Libertine font, looking at the sizes for the fonts, the ttf fonts take 7.9mb, where the otf fonts take 5.2mb, so if nothing else the otf font format is more efficient at storing truetype font information.

                              So I did a quick Linux Libertine font otf/ttf rendering comparison at two point sizes, at 15 points there was very little difference, some kerning (visible between 'm' and 'n') and a slight rendering difference on the captial 'K', at 14 points however the ttf and otf fonts rendered quite different (using freetype 2.4.11-2 which is the latest shipped with Arch:

                              Libertine Display at 15 points (TTF):
                              http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/3...splay15ttf.png

                              Libertine Display at 15 points (OTF):
                              http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/1...splay15otf.png

                              Libertine Display at 14 points (TTF):
                              http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/379...splay14ttf.png

                              Libertine Display at 14 points (OTF):
                              http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/4...splay14otf.png

                              So atleast freetype renders the same OTF and TTF font different in this case, as to why I can't say.

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