[Issue 88613] Canvas: cairo-based font rendering

mox at openoffice.org mox at openoffice.org
Thu Apr 24 19:03:20 UTC 2008

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------- Additional comments from mox at openoffice.org Thu Apr 24 19:03:16 +0000 2008 -------
Hi hdu, thanks for the comments. I also don't want this issue to become endless
tug war, so I just clarify some things. Note that I don't really have a perfect
solution to offer, neither I'm expecting the text layout to be solved anytime soon.


Yes, the quartz failing is just a bug, and does not need the level of changes
that I'm describing here.

The core of the discussion is that OpenOffice.org has been and in many respects
is still not proactive in integrating with the other open source projects,
causing OpenOffice.org to remain a huge, non-shared (with other projects)
codebase. This means OOo needs to have e.g. it's own set of developers for all
of text rendering and fonts, because no other project is working on that code.

The reason for working with cairo based font rendering and layout is the same as
using cairo library anywhere in the OOo:

Yes, OOo could do everything by itself with directly using functions of native
platforms + OOo specific crossplatform layer.

However, OOo can also use cairo (among others) as the crossplatform layer, that
 can REMOVE the code that OOo currently has. While it creates another layer of
API, if it (eventually) can become the only API (just like Mozilla Firefox 3
has), then the rest of the OOo code can be optimized for that API. And OOo
developers can also work with cairo developers to improve that library (which
already pretty good exactly thanks to contributions from MULTIPLE independent

=> more shared code, less OOo-specific code.


For graphics rendering cairo is the unquestioned choice. It seems to be a good
choice for font rendering too. To me, text layout is completely unknown area. I
do know that pango nowadays uses harfbuzz, which is a collaborative project
between Gnome and KDE. So that's pretty good coverage on UNIX/X11.

However, high quality crossplatform support is the key here. Only X11 is not enough.


So currently I'm targetting just font rendering, and hoping a good layout
solution comes up some day.

And I'm not saying things cannot go to the other direction too. For example on
UNIX, hunspell has originated from inside OOo and now distributions are
standardising on it, and replacing the aspell/pspell/myspell alternatives.
That's not crossplatform, but it's a nice step forward.

If OOo's text layout is superior to others, why not create a crossplatform
textlayout module -- with "libtextlayout" -library that can then be used by
other projects (and is nicely isolated for OOo)? It would need to become an
independent hunspell-like "sourceforge" project (i.e. outside of OOo CWS hassles
and schedules) to truly enable sharing and collaboration.


Open source gives best results when you are proactive with ways of sharing and

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