Request to upgrade freetype package to 2.7 or later

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Request to upgrade freetype package to 2.7 or later

Postby Sloth » 04 Aug 2017 10:16


First of all, thank you very much for everyone involved in making & maintaining this amazing distro. :clap:

Its one of the few Debian based distros that follows the KISS principle and provides a fully configured Debian distro with adding any extra softwares and letting the user install as per their preference which results in less bloat and more speed & stability. :mrgreen:

And its been a long time since I posted here, so I don't know if this is the appropriate section to request for package upgrades. So I request the mods to kindly move it to the appropriate section if its not the correct section.

I would like to request to upgrade freetype (and related) packages to v2.7 or later as v2.7 uses a new hinting mode as the default and it makes a huge difference in the font rendering, especially in web browsers.
CHANGES BETWEEN 2.6.5 and 2.7 I.

  • 1- As announced earlier, the 2.7.x series now uses the new subpixel hinting mode as the default, emulating a modern version of ClearType.

    This change inevitably leads to different rendering results, and you might change the `TT_CONFIG_OPTION_SUBPIXEL_HINTING' configuration option to adapt it to your taste (or use the new `FREETYPE_PROPERTIES' environment variable). See the corresponding entry below for version 2.6.4, which gives more information.

    2- A new option `FT_CONFIG_OPTION_ENVIRONMENT_PROPERTIES' has been introduced. If set (which is the default), an environment variable `FREETYPE_PROPERTIES' can be used to control driver properties.


    Code: Select all

    FREETYPE_PROPERTIES=truetype:interpreter-version=35 \
    cff:no-stem-darkening=1 \
    This allows to select, say, the subpixel hinting mode at runtime for a given application. See file `ftoption.h' for more.
Source: ... type2/2.7/
I thought that freetype will be upgraded to atleast 2.7 for stretch but I don't know why it wasn't upgraded.

The current version in testing/sid is 2.8 and also packages since v2.7 are non-maintainer uploads.

If upgrading freetype (and related) packages to the latest version is not going to create any bugs or conflict with SolydXK, then could you please take this request into consideration. Thanks.

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Re: Request to upgrade freetype package to 2.7 or later

Postby grizzler » 04 Aug 2017 11:18

This would essentially mean putting bits of testing/unstable in a stretch based distribution for all to install. Not likely to happen.

Alternative solution: temporarily add the testing repository to your sources list, install the package you want and remove the testing repo again. Or download the package manually and simply install it using gdebi or dpkg.
I've checked and libfreetype6 2.8-0.2 doesn't require newer dependencies than the ones currently in stretch, so this should work.

To be honest, I'm not particularly impressed by 2.8. I've had serious issues with hinting and although adding the FREETYPE_PROPERTIES variable to the environment does help most of the time, it still doesn't fix everything. Any application launched using pkexec doesn't pick up the correct setting because of the limited environment pkexec uses. On top of that, yesterday I discovered opening a text file in a graphical editor with sudo <USER> xdg-open doesn't use the correct setting either if the script opening the text file happens to be running as root. I'm seriously considering downgrading to 2.6.3-3.2 and keeping that on hold until I have the time to sort this out properly.

SolydX EE 64 - tracking Debian Testing

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