Fedora 34 Will See HarfBuzz-Enabled FreeType As The Latest For This Huge Feature Release

Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 5 February 2021 at 07:44 AM EST. 28 Comments
The plan for Fedora 34 to improve font rendering by enabling HarfBuzz in FreeType was approved this week by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee.

Fedora 34 is now set to enable the HarfBuzz text shaping engine within the FreeType font rasterization engine. The net gain is improved hinting of glyphs particularly for languages with complicated text shaping like where glyphs are composed from multiple characters.

FreeType has supported HarfBuzz for more than a half-decade and Fedora enabling it with its FreeType packaging will allow for some bugs to finally be addressed.

More details for those interested in this change via the Fedora Wiki page and the FESCo ticket where the change was approved this week.

The big and growing list of changes slated for Fedora 34 can be tracked here. Fedora Workstation is seeing GNOME 40 as the default desktop, all audio being routed through PipeWire, Wayland by default on the KDE Plasma desktop, LXQt 0.16 and Xfce 4.16 as upgraded desktop options, standalone XWayland, and other improvements. More broadly Fedora 34 is seeing the latest upstream packages, Btrfs transparent Zstd compression enabled by default, systemd-OOMD being enabled by default, and many other exciting changes. This very feature rich and exciting Fedora release is expected to debut around the end of April barring any major delays.
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