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PR: Bitstream Develops Font Subsystem for Linux

Sep 05, 2001, 15:15 (36 Talkback[s])

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CAMBRIDGE, MA -- August 28, 2001 -- Bitstream Inc. announced today the beta release of btX, a font server for Linux. btX gives Linux the same font presentation as that found on the Macintosh and on Windows. With btX, developers can render hinted, anti-aliased, and kerned characters, producing great looking text on screen.

Most importantly, btX renders not only high-quality characters in industry-standard TrueType and Type 1 formats, but also high-quality text in compact PFR (portable font resource, an industry-standard format), T2K, and stroke-based Asian font formats. Bitstream btX supports Unicode encoding and can render international fonts.

On the front end, btX uses the X font server protocol for X11 Windows, Release 6 (X11R6), with Bitstream's extensions for character outline access, anti-aliasing, and kerning. On the back end, btX relies on the fastest font engine on the market, Font Fusion.

Without btX, applications can use only the X11 API (i.e., the X libraries or Xlib) to manage the windowing system and to draw graphics and text on the screen. For some applications, the functions in Xlib that accomplish this are sufficient, but for most they do not provide enough functionality, particularly with fonts.

The btX Font API, however, includes a number of functions that give applications finer control over the display of fonts. The API allows an application to communicate directly with the font server, giving you effects that standard X server mechanisms cannot provide. These include accessing and processing scalable outlines in different font formats, applying kerning (intercharacter spacing), and rendering anti-aliased characters.

Developers can embed the Font API directly into an application, giving you an Embedded Font Server. With an Embedded Font Server, you do not need to make font calls to the X Server or a Remote Font Server. This makes the process of reading and rendering fonts much faster.

"With btX, Bitstream has developed a leading-edge font rendering technology for Linux devices and applications," said Anna Chagnon, President of Bitstream. "btX can render eight font formats -- not just two -- including compact fonts that can fit in embedded Linux devices where space and memory are at a premium. With our font rendering technology, we can deliver well-hinted, anti-aliased characters to the screen, resulting in text that looks great anywhere, even on LCD displays and other low-resolution devices for Linux. What's more, btX includes Font Fusion, a high-quality, fast font engine, including the fastest TrueType rasterizer on the market."

For information on Bitstream btX, currently in beta release, contact Bitstream at 800.522.3668 or 617.497.6222, e-mail us at oemsales@bitstream.com, or visit us on the Web at http://www.bitstream.com.

About Bitstream Inc.
Bitstream Inc. is the leading developer of font technology, digital fonts, and custom font designs for a wide variety of markets. Setting the standard for excellence in font technology, Bitstream holds numerous key patents that cover the creation of portable fonts for the Internet. Bitstream licenses its award-winning TrueDoc, WebFont, and Font Fusion technologies to Web and application developers, and to manufacturers of information appliances, wireless devices, set-top boxes, embedded systems, printers, and personal digital assistants.

Founded in 1981, Bitstream is the first digital font foundry. In 1999, Bitstream created MyFonts.com, Inc. (http://www.myfonts.com), the Web site for finding, trying, and buying fonts on line. Bitstream is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.