From Organic Design

Yeah that's pretty good quality when you enable that hinting option. If we use that in interface.c then it'd be best to use the surface-cache to represent the nodes at the word level rather than character level which makes the text stuff a lot easier to implement. --Nad 13:19, 9 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Using word-level groupings would be suitable for 90% of situations, except where text editing is required. In that case we would need to store individual glyphs.
One test we need to do is to use SDL to write a font onto a blank surface, then blit that onto a complex bitmap. Then we can see if the transparency is being handled properly. I seem to remember something about the SDL_ttf requiring a background colour for the text surface. If this is the case, some more work may be required to have proper transparency with typography.
--Rob 15:04, 9 Dec 2006 (NZDT)