This Project is sponsored by the 2D Graphics Group.
OpenType font layout provides means for font designers to create fonts which contain tables that can be processed by a layout engine in a font and script specific way, choosing typographic features that may be critical for correct rendering of numerous writing systems.
Since JDK 1.3, in partnership with the ICU project and IBM the JDK has used the open source ICU layout engine for this purpose. However ICU has now officially deprecated the layout engine starting in ICU v54. See ICU Layout Engine.
At the same time Harfbuzz is emerging as a more up to date open source standalone layout engine suitable for replacing ICU in the JDK. The goal of this project is to take harfbuzz through the process of being a seamless replacement for ICU and providing suitable tests to ensure that compatibility is maintained and correctness improved. The OpenJDK project was sent for a vote http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/discuss/2013-July/003105.html and subsequently approved http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/announce/2013-October/000154.html