[R-SIG-Mac] FreeType on osx

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Tue Apr 1 20:59:16 CEST 2008

On 3/15/2008 6:02 PM, Simon Urbanek wrote:
> On Mar 15, 2008, at 1:30 PM, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>> I'm trying to add FreeType support to rgl.  I see that there are
>> versions that ship with OSX, and also versions on DarwinPorts and  
>> fink.
>>  What would be the recommended advice to users on this, and what would
>> a configure script need in order to find FreeType?
> FreeType is a bit of a pain (I'll elaborate on that below). For CRAN  
> binaries of packages that use FreeType we use a static build instead  
> of the system one because those are too old. From a package's point of  
> view it's easy, though, because you only have to ask pkgconfig or  
> freetype-config. I wouldn't bother doing anything Mac-specific,  
> because both Tiger and Leopard have freetype-config, but their  
> versions are too old or buggy to bother.
>> On Linux, looking for freetype-config works, but that's not working  
>> on  my OSX 10.4 laptop.
> It should - do you have X11 on your PATH?
>>  Would it work in Leopard out of the box, or does a user need to  
>> install FreeType explicitly?
> Sort of - X11 in Leopard is broken out of the box, so you have to fix  
> that first, but once you do, it works. Both Tiger and Leopard come  
> with FreeType.
> The real problem is that FreeType (even the last release) is somewhat  
> broken on OS X. It doesn't support system fonts properly. The CVS  
> version is a bit better, but still has a bug that causes font styles  
> to be mixed up. In addition, it is incompatible with the one shipped  
> in the OS. But anyhow, I don't think you should worry about all this  
> as a package maintainer - I'll have to sort those things out anyway  
> now that we use FreeType in R :).

Hi Simon.

Just to follow up on this:

I now have a version of rgl that compiles and installs and pretends to 
use FreeType, but it displays junk on OS X 10.4.  It works fine on 
Windows and Linux.  Can you let me know if you've worked out 
instructions for how to get FreeType to work properly?

If you want to see what it's like, you can get a prerelease copy from 
example(text3d) will show off a selection of fonts.  It doesn't try to 
get system fonts, only some TrueType fonts that I've included in the 


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