[GRASS5] dxf imports

Eric G. Miller egm2 at jps.net
Wed Dec 19 01:49:00 EST 2001

On Wed, 19 Dec 2001 04:40:51 +0000, Glynn Clements <glynn.clements at virgin.net> wrote:

> Eric G. Miller wrote:
> > > Are there many (any?) free TrueType fonts available?
> > 
> > Yes/No.  Depends on the use of free.  You can download basic TrueType
> > fonts from MicroSoft, and there are lots of crappy free fonts the
> > can be downloaded and used at no cost.  There's also a few fonts
> > out of the OpenOffice/StarOffice package that are now available
> > separately.  Distribution of a lot of "free" fonts is often restricted...
> A reasonable definition of free might be "could be distributed with
> GRASS". I think that there should be a minimum set which can be
> included in the distribution (ideally including one for Greek) so that
> scripts and examples don't need to be modified for the user's system.

Ahh, well for most "text" purposes, I don't think GRASS should want
to worry about distributing fonts (unless we create our own).  BTW,
I see a package for a free truetype font that supposedly includes
a Greek set (ahh, but no extended Greek, mean anything to you?).

> There's also the issue that the font's licensing terms may be
> propagated into any image or hardcopy which contains that font,
> affecting the terms under which the user can licence their output. 

I've had to deal with this issue, so I know what you're talking about.
I haven't encountered a problem with hardcopy, but things like PDF or
PostScript where the font is embedded...

> > > The existing font mechanism may be primitive, but it does provide a
> > > high degree of portability. No additional fonts are required, and it
> > > can be made to work on any device which can draw lines.
> > 
> > Yes, but those fonts aren't very pretty either.
> As vectors, they're likely to be significantly less ugly than a
> bitmapped font when scaled.

Point taken.

> > Also, who even understands
> > the binary format used in GRASS?  I've looked at that code that converts
> > the original fonts to something, but I've no idea what...
> The binary format is trivial. The file starts with an array containing
> the offset of each character's definition. Each character is a 32-bit
> integer count followed two arrays of <count> bytes; the first is the X
> coordinates, the second is the Y coordinates.

Ahh, should've looked at the code that reads those files...

> > I'd propose supporting X bitmapped, PostScript, and TrueType fonts.
> > The rasterizers already exist and it'd open up a lot of possibilities.
> > 
> > BTW: I have a partly completed set of Cartographic Map Symbols as
> > a PostScript font.  It'd be nice to be able to use such things for
> > display and PostScript map output.  
> Well, PostScript remains a strong candidate for a future display
> architecture. It also solves the availability issue; high-res fonts
> come with the printer, low-res fonts are free (from X11).
> However, that's for the future. In the meantime, I'd like to avoid
> users being forced to choose between buying fonts or having to put up
> with scaled bitmaps.

Well, I wouldn't propose anything drastic at this point.  I thought we
were trying get to a "finish" line for 5.0...

Eric G. Miller <egm2 at jps.net>

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