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PICList Thread
'[EE]: fonts for an embedded system'
2009\06\16@030507 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
I am working on a tool for writing RAM applications. I want to give the
users an easy way to include a font (for use on a graphic LCD). So far I
have managed to process TrueType and OpenType fonts (using Python/PIL)
but the result is often not pleasant at smaller sizes.

Are there any standard file formats for bitmapped fonst that I should
consider?

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\06\16@103328 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 2:04 AM, Wouter van Ooijen<spam_OUTwouterTakeThisOuTspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> I am working on a tool for writing RAM applications. I want to give the
> users an easy way to include a font (for use on a graphic LCD). So far I
> have managed to process TrueType and OpenType fonts (using Python/PIL)
> but the result is often not pleasant at smaller sizes.
>
> Are there any standard file formats for bitmapped fonst that I should
> consider?
>
> --
>
> Wouter van Ooijen

http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/pcf-format.html

--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
.....markragesKILLspamspam@spam@midwesttelecine.com

2009\06\16@112157 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face
I'm using UniFont which includes 65,536 bitmaps. Most characters are 8
pixels wide and 16 pixels high. Many are 16x16. I allocate 32 bytes to
each character, whether it needs them or not. If the character is only 8
pixels wide, the last 16 bytes are all zero. I put this in a M25P16 SPI
flash. When I need to draw a character, the PIC indexes in to this table
and reads the 32 bytes. It looks at the last 16 bytes to see if they're
all zero. If so, the PIC draws an 8 pixel wide character. If not, it draws
a 16 pixel wide character. I've got this working in a couple systems. One
uses an 18F26k20. The other uses a 24HJ256GP610.

I'm not doing much with variable character size, though I have done pixel
doubling and tripling in both horizontal and vertical directions.

Harold


--
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opportunities available!

2009\06\16@152213 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> I'm using UniFont which includes 65,536 bitmaps. Most characters are 8
> pixels wide and 16 pixels high. Many are 16x16.

sounds interesting, but where can I find it? I can't find a download
page on http://www.unifont.org/index.html ?

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\06\16@174949 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

> Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>> I'm using UniFont which includes 65,536 bitmaps. Most characters are 8
>> pixels wide and 16 pixels high. Many are 16x16.
>
> sounds interesting, but where can I find it? I can't find a download
> page on http://www.unifont.org/index.html ?
>
> --
>
> Wouter van Ooijen


See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Unifont , especially the archive.org
link at the bottom of the page.

Harold



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FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
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2009\06\16@211931 by John La Rooy

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On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 5:04 PM, Wouter van Ooijen<wouterspamKILLspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> I am working on a tool for writing RAM applications. I want to give the
> users an easy way to include a font (for use on a graphic LCD). So far I
> have managed to process TrueType and OpenType fonts (using Python/PIL)
> but the result is often not pleasant at smaller sizes.

TrueType fonts have hinting to enable them to be displayed nicely at low
resolutions. Probably your PIL is using FreeType library with the bytecode
interpreter turned off, so is ignoring the hinting. This is due to the patents
that Apple have around the TT fonts

John La Rooy

2009\06\17@012811 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Unifont , especially the archive.org
> link at the bottom of the page.

OK. But I see this is GPL-stuff, so not usable for 'closed' embedded
systems.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\06\17@020648 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 9:33 AM, Mark Rages<.....markragesKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 2:04 AM, Wouter van Ooijen<EraseMEwouterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTvoti.nl> wrote:
>> I am working on a tool for writing RAM applications. I want to give the
>> users an easy way to include a font (for use on a graphic LCD). So far I
>> have managed to process TrueType and OpenType fonts (using Python/PIL)
>> but the result is often not pleasant at smaller sizes.
>>
>> Are there any standard file formats for bitmapped fonst that I should
>> consider?
>>
>> --
>>
>> Wouter van Ooijen
>
> http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/pcf-format.html
>

Wait, you're looking for the fonts themselves?

http://websitetips.com/fonts/pixel/

--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
markragesspamspam_OUTmidwesttelecine.com

2009\06\17@022332 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Wait, you're looking for the fonts themselves?
> http://websitetips.com/fonts/pixel/

I knew that page, nice fonts. But those are *not* real bitmap fonts:
they are TT approximations of bit-mapped fonts.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\06\17@033126 by Mark Rages

face picon face
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On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 1:23 AM, Wouter van Ooijen<@spam@wouterKILLspamspamvoti.nl> wrote:
>> Wait, you're looking for the fonts themselves?
>> http://websitetips.com/fonts/pixel/
>
> I knew that page, nice fonts. But those are *not* real bitmap fonts:
> they are TT approximations of bit-mapped fonts.
>

OK, but a bitmapped TT font has a "natural" size where it will render
pixel-for-pixel.  I don't know any way to query the natural size.  You
an look it up on the creator's webpage, or you could probably find it
the hard way by rendering some characters in a huge size and do a 2-D
DFT and look for the high-frequency spike.

I've attached a Python file with an example that prints out in a
pseudo-C-struct.  (C code untested, and I'm pretty sure the struct is
not what you want anyway).  If the attachment gets stripped, see
http://vivara.net/software/read_font.py

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
KILLspammarkragesKILLspamspammidwesttelecine.com

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2009\06\17@042223 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I've attached a Python file with an example that prints out in a
> pseudo-C-struct.  (C code untested, and I'm pretty sure the struct is
> not what you want anyway).  If the attachment gets stripped, see
> http://vivara.net/software/read_font.py

OK, those fonst indeed render OK at size 8. (Using my code, yours does
essentially the same).

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\06\17@090750 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

>> See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Unifont , especially the
>> archive.org
>> link at the bottom of the page.
>
> OK. But I see this is GPL-stuff, so not usable for 'closed' embedded
> systems.
>
> --
>
> Wouter van Ooijen


OK, that's an interesting issue. Is something that uses Unifont unmodified
a derivative work?

Harold


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2009\06\17@093120 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> OK, that's an interesting issue. Is something that uses Unifont unmodified
> a derivative work?

I would say: of course.

But you said that you put everything in a separate eeprom. Assuming that
the eeprom is not protected and can be changed by the user (maybe the
documentation should also mention this) you might be complying with the GPL.

But IMO embedding it in the protected on-board flash of a micrcontroller
is certainly a violation, so for what I consider the audience of my tool
GPL and LPGL fonts are not interesting.

But these are free beer: http://websitetips.com/fonts/pixel/#pixelfonts


--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\06\17@093549 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Maybe the display code can be still open source library while the rest of
the closed code firmware just "use" the open source libraries? I am not a
lawyer but I think these kind of things are working for GPL v2 -- not for
GPL v3.

Tamas


On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 2:17 PM, Harold Hallikainen
<RemoveMEharoldTakeThisOuTspamhallikainen.org>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2009\06\17@100438 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
Tamas Rudnai wrote:
> Maybe the display code can be still open source library while the rest of
> the closed code firmware just "use" the open source libraries? I am not a
> lawyer but I think these kind of things are working for GPL v2 -- not for
> GPL v3.

As I understand that technique is allowed for LGPL (and the user must be
provided with some way to do the re-linking; often with dynamic
libraries), but not for GPL.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

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