Rhaaa, yet another font format!
Posted Jun 26, 2009 4:39 UTC (Fri) by colinb
In reply to: Rhaaa, yet another font format!
Parent article: GRUB 2 becomes the default bootloader in Ubuntu 9.10
As the author of the graphical menu support in GRUB 2 and the creator
of the new font format, I can defend the decision to create a new font
format in a few ways. First, it was decided at the beginning of the
graphical menu project that bitmap fonts should be used at first, and
possibly down the road we could add support for vector (outline) fonts,
and we would definitely need to depend on an external library
for the more complex rendering of vector fonts. There has been
discussion of using the FreeType library to provide support for
OpenType, TrueType, and many other font formats. In my
opinion, full vector font support would not be too difficult to
add to GRUB.
As for using an existing bitmap font
format such as BDF of PCF, I seriously considered them but
found them altogether unsatisfactory for our specific purpose.
analysis of why another font format was needed. We also
have discussed plans to add LZMA compression support to the
font format, which would dramatically improve storage
efficiency without impacting performance, by providing
near-random access to characters of the font through
compressing groups of characters together.
As for the omission of the 'width' property of fonts, I simply
considered that too unimportant of a detail, particularly in light of
the fact that non-antialiased bitmap fonts were the only target of that
font format, and none of the free fonts we tested with were provided in
I do take your point about ASCII metadata for the fonts. True textual
data such as the font name and family name should be Unicode strings,
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