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Issue 1036 path-length thoughts
Starred by 5 users Project Member Reported by, Dec 21 2012 Back to list
Status: Accepted
Area: Geometry
Priority: Low
Type: Idea

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Cool math for exactly quadratic arc-length

Webkit code for path-length

Skia has this in SkPathMeasure.

1. Is SkPathMeasure as fast as it should be?
2. Can we make it more accurate w/o hurting speed (much)?

Dashing and textOnPath are the big users of our pathmeasure.
Project Member Comment 1 by, Sep 10 2014
Labels: -Type-Defect -Priority-Medium Type-Idea Priority-Low Area-Geometry
Project Member Comment 2 by, Sep 2 2015
Status: Invalid
Sadly the cool math page is now a sexy lady smoking a cigarette and the Webkit code does nothing more interesting than subdivide until the curve is flat. Marking Invalid -- feel free to reopen if you come across more cool math in the future.
Project Member Comment 3 by, Sep 2 2015
Project Member Comment 4 by, Sep 2 2015
Copying the implementation for future generations

float blen(v* p0, v* p1, v* p2)
 v a,b;
 a.x = p0->x - 2*p1->x + p2->x;
 a.y = p0->y - 2*p1->y + p2->y;
 b.x = 2*p1->x - 2*p0->x;
 b.y = 2*p1->y - 2*p0->y;
 float A = 4*(a.x*a.x + a.y*a.y);
 float B = 4*(a.x*b.x + a.y*b.y);
 float C = b.x*b.x + b.y*b.y;

 float Sabc = 2*sqrt(A+B+C);
 float A_2 = sqrt(A);
 float A_32 = 2*A*A_2;
 float C_2 = 2*sqrt(C);
 float BA = B/A_2;

 return ( A_32*Sabc + 
          A_2*B*(Sabc-C_2) + 
          (4*C*A-B*B)*log( (2*A_2+BA+Sabc)/(BA+C_2) ) 

Project Member Comment 5 by, Nov 23 2015
Labels: Hotlist-Fixit
Project Member Comment 6 by, Dec 18 2015
Status: Accepted
The following revision refers to this bug:

commit 17bc0851d34afe8c89d7455c061a1d419f76af8a
Author: caryclark <>
Date: Mon Dec 21 13:32:53 2015

check in direct quad length measure

Add code so that it at minimum won't bit-rot.
Next: add tests to see if it works.

Review URL:


Project Member Comment 8 by, Jan 7 2016
Status: WontFix
The code fails for trivial (arguably degenerate) quads. For instance:

(0, 0) (0, 1) (0, 2)


a = (0, 0)
A = 0
A_2 = 0
BA = NaN

This implies that quads close to straight lines will suffer a similar numerical fate.

This isn't worth pursing for shippable code.

Project Member Comment 9 by, Jan 7 2016
Status: Accepted
Possibly, though we have to detect nearly straight quads even in our quadrootfinder, so perhaps this is no different:

- first see if its nearly straight
- if so, take a simpler case (length is trivial for this case)
- else do the tricky part, which hopefully won't compute degenerate values

I'd like us to spend a little time on this and investigate further
Project Member Comment 10 by, Jan 12 2016
As Mike suggested, with some additional work, the code can handle the error cases.

By computing the current piecewise approach and the direct computation
approach described above for a quad of the form

  (0,0) (A,B) (C,D)

where A/B/C/D are random values +/-1000. , is

  {0, 0}, {780.426f, 746.948f}, {-433.807f, -417.938f}}

The (old) piecewise length is 1445.86
The (new) direct quad length is 1447.13

Drawing the quad, it nearly folds back on itself. The extrema as drawn is at (305.341, 291.826).
The length found by adding the length of two lines from end point to the extrema,
the empirical length is 1447.12

Next up is handling subdividing the quad when its length is nonlinear with respect to t.
Project Member Comment 11 by, Feb 26 2016
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