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McEs, A Hacker Life
Saturday, February 25, 2006
 Desktop Libraries' Releases

[Awesome news about Qt willing to integrate with GLib main loop]

Today was a happy day for Pango, as these releases hit the net:
Now David Turner is my hero of the day. If you don't know, FreeType started not exposing its internal headers anymore, for sometime, all in CVS. This was known to break several major libraries and applications, including but not limited to Pango, Qt, and fontconfig. First thing David did was sending patches to each of these rogue clients to make them not use the private headers. But as time passed, it became clear that releasing 2.2 without the private headers and symbols, would break several (mostly Debian) systems seriously, and there was no easy solution to that. See here for details of the problem. In the past couple of weeks, David finally decided that the only way to not break lots of systems is to provide wrappers for old internal API to make applications using private parts of previous FreeType versions still working with FreeType 2.2. That's as someone put it on the mailing list, in the level of backward compatibility that only companies like Microsoft and Sun bother to provide. Well done David.

There's one small issue with FreeType 2.2 though, that it doesn't round metrics anymore (for good), so Pango will render fuzzy horizontal strokes all over the place (bug #327852). Not sure how exactly that should be fixed, as that may require changes in cairo... Just if we could have cairo 1.2 in the party today... But hey, they just switched to git. Fortunately, Carl Worth is back to applying patches now. (-:

Update: After reading this post and some private discussion, David has reverted that change. Wait for Pango release now :-)

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