FreeType development to be crowdfunded

FreeType development to be crowdfunded

Last week Werner Lemberg started a new crowdfunding campaign aiming to sponsor his work on FreeType — a library that renders fonts on your Linux desktops, as well as iOS- and Android-based devices.

Werner will be focusing on the following tasks:

  • support for WOFF — a web fonts file format that finally became a W3C recommendation two weeks ago;
  • extending FreeType’s auto-hinting module to cover more scripts, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Devanagari etc., as well as provide a more fine-grained control over Cyrillic and Greek;
  • better support of the already existing script engines in the auto-hinter, especially to handle glyphs which are only accessible via OpenType features.

With the latter feature he specifically targets HarfBuzz, an OpenType shaping engine that's about to have its v1.0 release.:

Behdad has implemented the necessary functionality three weeks ago, so it is a natural candidate to use. :-) Actually, I'm not aware of other libraries which provide a similar interface.

However, I don't want a direct dependency on Harfbuzz, so FreeType provides a kind of callback.  The necessary interface is already there, using the `glyph-to-script-map' property.

Werner needs $20K to be on the safe side. 

If you think that the quality of fonts rendering an important part of comfortable use of computers, and especially if you need better rendering of complex scripts, please consider donating.

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4 Comments

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  1. Will be interesting to see how this goes. Traditionally infrastructure and system libraries seem to be near ignored by contributors (financial and otherwise) compared to applications.

  2. Alexandre Prokoudine 28 December 2012 at 10:56 am

    Well, the ttfautohint pledgie was successful. Werner keeps raising the limit to continuosly get paid.

  3. @Jan: For my case, only because I’m not aware of these crowdfundings of libraries. I’m not too much into the technical aspects. When LGW or other more user-oriented cover library crowdfundings though, that’s when the what, why and hows are explained to me, making me comfortable enough to donate. :)

  4. The font style sounds great! Never had an idea that fundraising can be done for such a creative aspect. But what about the older version? Is it possible to enhance the previous version with the following fonts that you have listed above? I mean people with Linux desktop always crave to attain the advancement, what is the scope in that area considering this new approach?

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