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

Ammar ul hassan ammar.instantsoft at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 03:46:19 CET 2018

Hi Karl Berry. Thank for your response
> FreeType doesn't support bitmaps directly, does it?

Yes FreeType doesn't support bitmaps directly. It takes an outline font and
rasterizes it into bitmaps internally (without creating an additional
bitmap file)

> So the real question is why you want to use mf instead of mftrace?

Actually with using mftrace in my current setup, the process looks complex
i.e. input .mf to FreeType,
send .mf to mftrace for converting it into any outline font (Type1 in my
case), then passing this newly
created outline to default FreeType driver modules, these driver modules
then do default working and
i can display styled fonts etc. Plus the main reason that i want to use mf
program is that i want to use it
 as an external program that inputs a bitmap file to FreeType, then
FreeType sends this bitmap file to programs
 like VFlib (that say that they can support bitmap files like .gf and .pk)
so, that these processed files can be used for printing and previewing

On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 7:43 AM, Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org> wrote:

> 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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