Draining the font swamp

Phillip Susi psusi at cfl.rr.com
Mon May 21 14:52:46 UTC 2007

Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> - Xfont, which provides font services (including selection and rendering)
>   through the X server.  This is basically obsolete in favour of client-side
>   fonts.

Why is this?  Client side fonts are bad for several reasons:

1)  You end up with the mess you point out, where you have several 
different client side font systems.

2)  That leads to code that is harder to maintain and configure and 

3)  Performance suffers.  The X server is in the best position to render 
fonts using any hardware acceleration provided by the video card, and 
allows for those fonts to be shared by all applications, reducing 
duplication and waste.  Also for remote X sessions, you want the fonts 
rendered on the server so much less data needs exchanged between the 
client and server.

Other than the fact that the client side implementations have advanced 
beyond the X server ones in recent times, is there any advantage to 
client side font rendering over server side?  If not, then we should 
push to bring the client side advancements back into the server where 
font rendering belongs.

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list