Date: Wed Mar 03 2004 - 03:52:53 EST
Not sure exactly what you are looking for because "Font Technology" covers
a broad spectrum, but a *simplified* picture might be something like the
First, we should distinguish bitmap font technologies from scalable font
technologies ... I assume you are more interested in the latter.
For scalable fonts, there are a number of fundamentally different ways to
describe the curves: Postscript outlines are based on bezier curves,
TrueType outlines on quadratic curves, and I can't remember what Metafont
The next level is how you package the individual glyphs into a font:
Postscript type1 fonts -- bundle up Postscript outlines
TrueType fonts -- bundle up TrueType outlines
OpenType fonts -- bundle up either TrueType or Postscript outlines
and there are others.
Next level is how you encode into the font the smarts for complex
rendering. At least three technologies utilize extensions of the TrueType
OpenType from Microsoft & Adobe
GX and AAT from Apple
SIL Graphite from SIL
(Note that the TrueType file structure is inherently extensible, and
OpenType, GX/AAT and Graphite fonts are TrueType fonts with extra tables.
Because of this people often interchange and blur the terms "TrueType" and
As is common in this world, at each level the various options each have
pros and cons.
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