September 5, 2002

Font Configuration and Customization Library Release

Keith Packard writes: "Fontconfig is a library for configuring and customizing font access."Fontconfig can:
  • discover new fonts when installed automatically, removing a common
    source of configuration problems.
  • perform font name substitution, so that appropriate alternative fonts
    can be selected if fonts are missing.
  • identify the set of fonts required to completely cover a set of languages.
  • have GUI configuration tools built as it uses an XML-based configuration file (though with autodiscovery, we believe this need is minimized).
  • efficiently and quickly find the fonts you need among the set of fonts
    you have installed, even if you have installed thousands of fonts, while
    minimzing memory usage.
  • be used in concert with FreeType to implement
    high quality, anti-aliased and subpixel rendered text on a display, accelerated for X servers with the Render extension, a bit slower on servers without.

Fontconfig does not:

  • render the fonts themselves (this is left to FreeType or other rendering mechanisms)
  • depend on the X Window System in any fashion, so that all font dependent applications can share the same configuration information.

With sufficient prodding, I've finally managed to build a release version
of the various fontconfig related libraries. Please find them at the
fontconfig web site

Because it includes version 2.0 of Xft, and because Fontconfig replaces
functionality found in version 1 of Xft, I've labeled the package as
version 2.0. It contains:

  • Fontconfig 1.0.1
  • Xft 2.0 (Draws text on any Xserver, even without Render)
  • Xft1 1.1 (Compatible with XFree86 4.1 Xft, still requires Render)
  • Xrender 1.1 (supports Render protocol 0.5)

Thanks go to all of those involved in this release, in particular:

  • Juliusz Chroboczek and Raph Levien for the original vision of client-side fonts.
  • Lars Knoll and Brad Hughes for early integration of Xft into
    the Qt toolkit.
  • Chris Blizzard and Brian Stell for help getting fontconfig ready
    to support Mozilla, and Chris for his work porting Mozilla to Xft2 and fontconfig.
  • Owen Taylor for help integrating fontconfig, Xft2 and Pango, and for help testing the release candidates.
  • David Dawes and the XFree86 project for the window system.
  • Dirk Hohndel for initial prodding on anti-aliased text.
  • David Turner and the FreeType project for a free font engine.
  • SuSE, Compaq and HP for supporting my work on this library.

Keith Packard

XFree86 Core Team

HP Cambridge Research Lab"

Link: FontConfig

Click Here!