[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: BDF Considered Harmful?

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 01:07:56AM -0700, Paul Hardy wrote:
> In addition, PCF format fonts are gzipped on Debian systems as per
> Debian Policy.  If BDF fonts are also gzipped, there is little
> difference in size between the two formats so the advantage of the
> binary PCF format over the ASCII BDF format disappears.  In fact I
> created a unifont.bdf.gz file for testing and it was a little smaller
> than the derivative unifont.pcf.gz file.

'Size' is not the only advantage of using compiled formats over ASCII
formats.  They normally are also much more efficient to parse; e.g., an
ASCII file format that supports comments isn't going to have any sort of
index, so using any part of the file will require loading the whole file and
parsing it linearly until you find what you're looking for.  I'm not
familiar with the PCF and BDF font formats, but I suspect this is the real
reason for historically preferring PCF (though the practice of subsequently
gzipping the PCF files eliminates some of the potential performance

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

Reply to: