[texhax] How does VFlib process .GF and .PK bitmap file formats?

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Mon Jan 15 23:43:09 CET 2018

Hi Ammar,

    What is the main task of this library if a .gf or .pk file is input?

I have nothing to do with vflib, but I gather the purpose of vflib
(https://core.ac.uk/display/21783721) is to rasterize outline formats
into bitmaps. So if it's given a bitmap (gf or pk), it seems there's
nothing much for it to do, essentially just pass back the input.

This is why mftrace is called in your present setup -- to go the other
direction, from Metafont's bitmap output to outlines, which (as far as I
know) is what freetype needs.  (freetype doesn't support bitmaps
directly, does it?)

So the real question is why you want to use mf instead of mftrace.
Put that way, it seems an impedance mismatch ... -k

P.S. The only alternative option I can think of in this area is to use
MetaPost (mpost) instead of mf. But it is far from a drop-in replacement
when it comes to font creation. MetaType1
(https://ctan.org/pkg/metatype1), written by the GUST font developers,
attempts to ameliorate this, but it is also far from a simple install
and use ... good luck ...

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