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
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
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
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
"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
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.
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