I guess that I wasn't aware of it at the time. I believe (John may want
to correct me if I'm wrong) that there was also a desire to have it
coded in Python for reasons of simplicity and portability, since in
early 2004 MPL was not as mature as it is now and did not contain as
much C/C++ code. I see no reason not to use fontconfig if it provides
the same functionality as the current font_manager and the wrapper
software can be easily done.
What obvious benefits do you see to using fontconfig instead of
- speed from being coded in C.
- speed from caching font info, and avoiding the need to traverse the
filesystem reading font filenames and directories.
- fontconfig is widely used, so its code has become well tested and
- integration with freetype
You could say that fontconfig is a utility designed to help you use
freetype, so if you require freetype (as mpl does) why not use
fontconfig too? Many systems that have freetype installed will already
have fontconfig installed as well.
- consistency with other applications - if you are using gtk+/GNOME,
Qt/KDE, Mozilla or other applications that use fontconfig then using
fontconfig from matplotlib means you are using the same font-matching
library and have access to exactly the same font files as your other
Does it provide access to individual font glyphs? This
feature would allow embedded fonts and mathtext to be included in the
SVG backend. I guessing that it almost certainly provides unicode
support. Anything else?
Fontconfig does the font-matching and font configuration, to access to
individual font glyphs I think you use freetype directly (after
fontconfig has selected the desired font).
"Font Configuration and Customization for Open Source Systems" written
in 2002 describes the origial design of fontconfig -
This is the main fontconfig site http://www.fontconfig.org/wiki/
On Fri, 2005-05-13 at 20:46 -0400, Paul Barrett wrote: