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Old 09-26-2011, 03:47 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default FreeType unpatented auto-hinter?

On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 10:13 AM, Nilesh Govindarajan
<contact@nileshgr.com> wrote:
> Somebody on twitter told me that Ubuntu uses a special patch for
> freetype that improves font rendering manifolds.
>
> So I rebuilt freetype with these useflags: +auto-hinter +bindist
>
> What is the difference between this unpatented auto hinter and the
> TrueType BC interpreter?

The "auto-hinter" USE flag enables the old auto-hinter code that was
used before the bytecode interpreter patents expired (which happened
in 2010). The bytecode interpreter is now the default and is
considered to be the best-performing option.

"Since May 2010, all patents related to bytecode hinting have expired
worldwide. It it thus no longer necessary to disable the bytecode
interpreter, and starting with FreeType version 2.4, it is enabled by
default." (according to http://www.freetype.org/patents.html)

I would check with your friend on Twitter to be sure they aren't
talking about pre-freetype-2.4 behavior...

With regard to Ubuntu's actual patches, here they are:
https://launchpadlibrarian.net/76814921/freetype_2.4.4-2ubuntu1.diff.gz

There aren't a lot of apparent changes to the actual freetype engine
(mostly patching the docs, build system and demos). There are
basically no comments, and I can't tell what it's trying to
accomplish.
 
Old 09-26-2011, 03:49 PM
pk
 
Default FreeType unpatented auto-hinter?

On 2011-09-26 17:13, Nilesh Govindarajan wrote:

> What is the difference between this unpatented auto hinter and the
> TrueType BC interpreter?

As far as I know, the truetype byte code interpreter patent expired
about 2 years ago... See:
http://www.osnews.com/story/18166/Interview-with-David-Turner-of-Freetype/

...but don't take my word for it... If you really need to know for sure
- contact a lawyer[1].

[1] IANAL :-)

Best regards

Peter K
 
Old 09-26-2011, 03:50 PM
pk
 
Default FreeType unpatented auto-hinter?

On 2011-09-26 17:13, Nilesh Govindarajan wrote:

> What is the difference between this unpatented auto hinter and the
> TrueType BC interpreter?

Here's some more info:
http://www.freetype.org/patents.html

Best regards

Peter K
 
Old 09-26-2011, 04:13 PM
James Broadhead
 
Default FreeType unpatented auto-hinter?

On 26 September 2011 16:49, pk <peterk2@coolmail.se> wrote:
> ...but don't take my word for it... If you really need to know for sure
> - contact a lawyer[1].
>
> [1] IANAL :-)

If you were, would you give your opinion freely on the internet?
`s/would/could`?

Since our system is set up so that one can spend significant amounts
of money just to find out whether something is or is not a restricted
idea, only to end up in court anyway because others have more money to
employ lawyers to come up with creative counter-arguments, I don't
think that it's productive to emulate people who think that it's
reasonable or useful to append a disclaimer to every claim that they
make.


THIS EMAIL DOES NOT NECESSARILY NEED TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. ANY WORDS
IN IT ARE ONES THAT I WROTE, AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO AMUSE OR
OTHERWISE BENEFIT ANY PARTIES THAT HAPPEN TO BE CELEBRATING ANYTHING.
DO NOT PRINT THIS, THINK OF THE CHILDREN. FNORD. (sorry)
 
Old 09-26-2011, 06:44 PM
pk
 
Default FreeType unpatented auto-hinter?

On 2011-09-26 18:13, James Broadhead wrote:

> If you were, would you give your opinion freely on the internet?
> `s/would/could`?

Well, you never know... ;-)

> Since our system is set up so that one can spend significant amounts
> of money just to find out whether something is or is not a restricted
> idea, only to end up in court anyway because others have more money to
> employ lawyers to come up with creative counter-arguments, I don't
> think that it's productive to emulate people who think that it's
> reasonable or useful to append a disclaimer to every claim that they
> make.
>
> THIS EMAIL DOES NOT NECESSARILY NEED TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. ANY WORDS
> IN IT ARE ONES THAT I WROTE, AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO AMUSE OR
> OTHERWISE BENEFIT ANY PARTIES THAT HAPPEN TO BE CELEBRATING ANYTHING.
> DO NOT PRINT THIS, THINK OF THE CHILDREN. FNORD. (sorry)

:-D

Best regards

Peter K
 
Old 09-27-2011, 12:41 AM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default FreeType unpatented auto-hinter?

On 09/26/2011 06:13 PM, Nilesh Govindarajan wrote:

Somebody on twitter told me that Ubuntu uses a special patch for
freetype that improves font rendering manifolds.

So I rebuilt freetype with these useflags: +auto-hinter +bindist


When you emerge freetype, it tells you at the end that the bindist USE
flag does not longer control the auto-hinter.


Also, as another poster mentioned, this is no longer an issue. The
patent expired so the auto-hinter is no longer required.




What is the difference between this unpatented auto hinter and the
TrueType BC interpreter?


The main difference is that the auto-hinter doesn't take into account
the font's hinting instructions, resulting in non-optimal hinting. In
short: don't use it.


For best looking fonts, disable both the "auto-hinter" and "bindist" USE
flags. The bindist USE flag controls the subpixel-rendering algorithm,
which is still patented by Microsoft in the USA.


So for best results (which is what Ubuntu uses), you need the BC
interpreter (you get that by disabling the "auto-hinter" flag) and the
subpixel renderer (by disabling the "bindist" flag).
 

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