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Zulu Windows-64 ligatures support

Updated on September 13, 2016 in Zulu on Windows
3 on July 19, 2016

Hi!

I try to use Zulu OpenJDK with JetBrains PhpSTorm editor while in x64 mode (for whatever reason they only supply their own OpenJDK build for x32 fork) but I still get this nast warning:

“The JRE you are running PhpStorm with might have functional and performance issues related to ligatures support. To avoid such issues, run PhpStorm with JetBrains Runtime.”

Please, explain – is it a valid claim? Is Zulu OpendJDK supporting ligatures in fonts or not?

Thanks ahead for feedback!

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0 on September 7, 2016

Hello Ziggi.

The JetBrains claims are likely very accurate. Azul observed closely as the IDEA team at JetBrains worked through many OpenJDK fixes to ensure Retina support on Mac OS X works as it should. Any issues with subpixel rendering and sophisticated font display resulted in a significant set of work items for them, and I could believe they kept anything they could not upstream into OpenJDK back within their own runtime.

They do make one salient point in their posting here:
Inability to work with existing (original) fonts (Hasklig, Fira Code, Monoid) are caused by a deficiency in ICU text layout engine used internally by Java. This engine is officially deprecated and is scheduled to be replaced with Harfbuzz (not having a mentioned issue) in Java 9.

The HarfBuzz replacement for ICU is captured in JEP 258, which is here http://openjdk.java.net/jeps/258. Follow the trail through JIRA and you’ll see this was fixed as integrated into OpenJDK 9 build 96. The Zulu 9 Prerelease 7 is up to build 131, so it should have Harfbuzz ready to go. You can check whether PhpStorm Editor on Zulu 9 Pre-release 7 for Windows gives you ligatures, and if not go back to JetBrains to see if they have or plan to have an EA build that supports Java 9.

Hopefully this helps. 

Matt

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0 on September 9, 2016

Thank you for essential feedback. Anyway – JetBrains has published informally (through forum website) an internal JDK version with ligature support and it’s working fine. I started using “Isovka” font and I am ahppy with this as this is pretty narrow (but still readible) and has nice ligatures.

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0 on September 13, 2016

Great. I’m glad you found a reasonable solution. Cheers. Matt

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