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[ft-announce] Announcing FreeType version 2.6
[ft-announce] Announcing FreeType version 2.6
Tue, 09 Jun 2015 06:42:00 +0200 (CEST)
FreeType 2.6 has been released.
It is available from
The latter site also holds older versions of the FreeType library.
See below for the relevant snippet from the CHANGES file.
PS: Downloads from savannah.nongnu.org will redirect to your nearest
mirror site. Files on mirrors may be subject to a replication
delay of up to 24 hours. In case of problems use
FreeType 2 is a software font engine that is designed to be small,
efficient, highly customizable, and portable while capable of
producing high-quality output (glyph images) of most vector and bitmap
Note that FreeType 2 is a font service and doesn't provide APIs to
perform higher-level features, like text layout or graphics processing
(e.g., colored text rendering, `hollowing', etc.). However, it
greatly simplifies these tasks by providing a simple, easy to use, and
uniform interface to access the content of font files.
FreeType 2 is released under two open-source licenses: our own
BSD-like FreeType License and the GPL. It can thus be used by any
kind of projects, be they proprietary or not.
CHANGES BETWEEN 2.5.5 and 2.6
I. IMPORTANT CHANGES
- Behdad Esfahbod contributed code for improved thread-safety,
which results in the following model.
* An `FT_Face' object can only be safely used from one thread at
* An `FT_Library' object can now be used without modification
from multiple threads at the same time.
* `FT_Face' creation and destruction with the same `FT_Library'
object can only be done from one thread at a time.
One can use a single `FT_Library' object across threads as long
as a mutex lock is used around `FT_New_Face' and `FT_Done_Face'.
Any calls to `FT_Load_Glyph' and similar API are safe and do not
need the lock to be held as long as the same `FT_Face' is not
used from multiple threads at the same time.
- Thai script support has been added to the auto-hinter.
- Arabic script support has been added to the auto-hinter.
- Following OpenType version 1.7, advance widths and side bearing
values in CFFs (wrapped in an SFNT structure) are now always
taken from the `hmtx' table.
- Following OpenType version 1.7, the PostScript font name of a
CFF font (wrapped in an SFNT structure) is now always taken from
the `name' table. This is also true for OpenType Collections
(i.e., TTCs using CFFs subfonts instead of TTFs), where it may
have a significant difference.
- Fonts natively hinted for ClearType are now supported, properly
handling selector index 3 of the INSTCTRL bytecode instruction.
- Major improvements to the GX TrueType variation font handling.
- A new auto-hinter property `warping' can switch on and off the
warping code if this experimental feature is compiled in (by
defining the AF_CONFIG_OPTION_USE_WARPER configuration option;
by default this option is now enabled but warping is switched
The AF_CONFIG_OPTION_USE_WARPER option itself is an old feature,
available since 2006. Warping only works in `light'
auto-hinting mode. The idea of the code is to slightly scale
and shift a glyph along the non-hinted dimension (which is
usually the horizontal axis) so that as much of its segments are
aligned (more or less) to the grid. To find out a glyph's
optimal scaling and shifting value, various parameter
combinations are tried and scored.
See file `ftautoh.h' for more; the demo programs `ftdiff',
`ftview', and `ftgrid' can toggle warping with key `w'.
- Some fields in the `FTC_ImageTypeRec' structure have been
changed from signed to unsigned type, which better reflects the
actual usage. It is also an additional means to protect against
This change doesn't break the ABI; however, it might cause
- Function `FT_Bitmap_New' has been renamed to `FT_Bitmap_Init',
since this name better reflects its function. For backwards
compatibility, the old function name is still available.
- Function `FT_Get_X11_Font_Format' has been renamed to
`FT_Get_Font_Format', since this name better reflects its
function. For backwards compatibility, the old function name is
Additionally, the header file macro for this function has been
renamed to `FT_FONT_FORMATS_H' (the old name `FT_XFREE86_H' is
retained for backwards compatibility).
- Various improvements to the `ftgrid' demo program.
. It can now display GX and MM fonts while interactively
manipulating the axes (with keys F2, F3, and F4).
. Anti-aliasing rendering modes can now be selected (with keys
F5 and F6).
. The display of point numbers can be toggled with key `D'.
- Various improvements to the `ftdump' demo program.
. It now displays information on MM and GX variation axes.
. New command line option `-u' makes it output data in utf-8
- The `ftmulti' demo program can now handle up to six MM or GX
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