HarfBuzz 4.0 Released For This Open-Source Text Shaping Library

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 2 March 2022 at 05:14 AM EST. 17 Comments
The HarfBuzz open-source text shaping library that is used by GNOME/GTK, KDE/Qt, Android, Java, Flutter, Firefox, LibreOffice, and numerous other applications and toolkits is out with HarfBuzz 4.0.

HarfBuzz 4.0 is a major update to this project that is critical to the Linux desktop. While it's not exciting to end-users directly, it is vital to the open-source desktop. HarfBuzz 4.0 changes include:

- The draw API for extracting glyph shapes has been extended and is no longer treated as experimental.

- The HarfBuzz hb-view tool will now use the draw API for rendering glyphs in place of Cairo. The hb-view and hb-shape tools also now use their own font loading code rather than the FreeType functions.

- Support for more than 65,535 glyph shapes and metrics.

- A new public API for creating a subset plan and gathering information on areas like glyph mappings in the final subset.

- Various other new APIs added.

More details on the HarfBuzz 4.0 changes can be found via the project's GitHub repository.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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