This library is no longer supported. The information given here is for historical interest only.
FreeType 1 is a portable and highly efficient TrueType rendering engine, that is now successfully used to bring TrueType support to a very large variety of platforms and environments, be they font servers, graphics libraries or embedded systems.
FreeType 1 is a clean-room implementation that is not derived from the original TrueType engine developed by Apple and Microsoft. It has been created with the sole help of the published TrueType specifications, which to our great surprise (and pain) turned out to be extremely poor and misleading in critical areas. Much hard work has been undertaken to solve ambiguities. The end result is a portable and fast renderer.
Note that FreeType 1 is a library. It is not a font server for your favorite platform, even though it was designed to be used in many of them. Note also that it is not a complete text-rendering library. Its purpose is simply to open and manage font files, as well as load, hint and render individual glyphs efficiently. You can also see it as a "TrueType driver" for a higher-level library, though rendering text with it is easy, as demonstrated by the test programs.
Its quality matches these of Windows and the Macintosh, while its memory foot-print and code size (between 48 and 55 kByte of Intel code) remain modest. A thing that cannot be said for most other commercial engines available.
The following features are part of FreeType 1:
The ANSI C version of the library should compile with no problems on a great variety of platforms. Some ANSI-compliant compilers may generate a lot of warnings when compiling it. These are not ANSI warnings and can be safely ignored. The reference compiler is gcc with the flags `-Wall' (all warnings) and `-ansi -pedantic', though using it is not a requirement.
However, the test programs, which are used to demonstrate the engine, are more system-specific as they use a tiny graphics sub-system in order to display the engine's output on the screen or in a window. The sub-system supports right now the following platforms: Dos, OS/2, X11, Win95, and Amiga. In addition, a platform independent driver for the Allegro graphics library is available.
FreeType 1 comes with a Pascal version that now runs on Borland Pascal 7 (DOS), fPrint Virtual Pascal (OS/2), FPC (Linux, DOS, OS/2) as well as Delphi (16-bit & 32-bit versions). It is now almost up-to-date with the C version, even though it doesn't include extensions. It is located in the ftpascal CVS module.