Re: Font Technology Standards

Date: Wed Mar 03 2004 - 03:52:53 EST

  • Next message: Frank Yung-Fong Tang: "Re: Font Technology Standards"

    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 bitmaps)
    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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