[tex-live] Metafont fonts and X (font server?)

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Jun 11 15:41:44 CEST 2008

On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Frederik Hohlfeld
<frederik.hohlfeld at gmail.com> wrote:

> Is there a way to use Metafont fonts with X? Apart from generating them and
> converting them to other bitmap formats before using them. I'm thinking about
> some way to generate them as needed from the Metafont source, maybe using a font
> server.

My guess is that the X font machinery doesn't really have all the
capabilities needed to
support maths layout, so it may not be enought just to get bitmaps.

Now that Display PS is officially gone <http://wiki.x.org/wiki/ChangesSince68>,
you may want to look at the successors based on Xrender. Quoting from.

------ begin quote
At the time when I started this project, there was no decent rendering
interface for X11 other than DPS.

Since then, there has been a large amount of work on a simple and
clean X server extension, Xrender, which provides the basis for just
such an interface.

Rendering libraries that are being built above Xrender include:

    * Xft, a font rendering library built on FreeType;
    * Cairo, formerly Xr/Xc, a geometry rendering library that
provides PostScript-like rendering primitives but with intrinsic
support for Porter-Duff compositing (transparency);
    * Pango, a high-level typesetting library.

If your application uses DPS, please consider porting it to the above
 ------- end quote

> Is that just a pipe dream? If so, is it because there's no implementation or
> because there's no conceivable way to achieve this?

I think because much of the effort that went into X11R7 was aimed at
supporting m18n,
(so wide fonts, flexible layout), there is little interest in the
original X11 font technology.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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