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Subject: Re: Different charsets, loadable fonts, unicode ....
From: Greg Haerr (
Date: 2002-07-15

: What tool is used to compile BDF fonts to PCF? How small do PCF files
typically get?

There's a tool with the X11 distribution that does it. I'm going
to port it to Microwindows and I'll then send you a copy.
The PCF files are smaller than BDF, but they still contain
more information than we'll want in the rockbox project.
As a result, X11 typically compresses them as font.pcf.gz,
which requires the zlib library to read them in.

Take a look at your /usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc directory
to get an idea of how big they get compressed.

: This is a good feature that I want included. I just want to make sure we
select the right approach beforing adding a lot of code.

Here are the major issues I see that need to be addressed
before writing too much code:

1. Unicode support. Can rockbox run with just unicode,
or are we going to have to support code pages? Alex
said that he had to use 3 different fonts in order to properly
handle the ID3 tags. Also, apparently they weren't encoded
in unicode, but I haven't got a clear answer on that.

If rockbox can run with just unicode, I strongly suggest
we use the minimal information that I proposed we pull
from BDF fonts, into a file format slightly enhanced from
Alex's contribution. With this design, all application
software for rockbox would just use unicode, and not
care which font was used. (the application API would
use a "LoadFont()" call that would load a standard
font for the UI, and could auto-load others based on
ID3 tags. The internal font layout doesn't take up
much space, we get to use any BDF font, and
we get proportional fonts. We don't actually have
to have loadable fonts, the system could easily
just use selected compiled-in fonts, as well. I've
got code that will convert any BDF font to a
C structure.

If rockbox must use codepage support, then we
could still go with compiled-in or loadable fonts,
but there will need to be some other method of
adjusting the UI code to know about the font



Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew