Re: [dev] [patch] dmenu - support for xft font rendering

From: Ethan Grammatikidis <>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2010 13:05:20 +0100

On 6 Sep 2010, at 5:01 am, Kris Maglione wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 05, 2010 at 11:28:17PM -0400, Josh Rickmar wrote:
>> On Sun, Sep 05, 2010 at 11:02:58PM -0400, Kris Maglione wrote:
>>> I still don't think that the auto-hinter is nearly up to par with
>>> designer hinted fonts. For the fonts that I have screen and print
>>> varieties from different foundaries, the versions without hinting
>>> information look considerably worse on-screen (though better in
>>> print) than the auto-hinted varieties.
>> This all really depends on how you like your fonts rendered. When
>> Apple first ported Safari to Windows, everyone was screaming about
>> how the fonts looked like crap. The Apply way is to use little
>> hinting and respect the shape of the font glyphs, while the Microsoft
>> way is to hammer the font into the pixel grid so it looks sharper,
>> but also causes the original typeface's unique shape to suffer.
>> Personally, I prefer the autohinter since I've found that with
>> slight hinting it looks very similar to the way Apple renders their
>> fonts. I don't know if Apple uses an autohinter or the hints in
>> the font, but they certainly put a lot less emphasis on the hinting
>> and more on the shape.
>> Generally, if you like your fonts sharp on screen (Microsoft),
>> designer hints are usually the best. If you want your fonts to
>> look more like print (Apple), using the autohinter seems to work
>> better.
>> Not that this matters much, as I spend most of my time staring at
>> bitmaped monospace fonts.
> Apple's font rendering engine and display screens are miles beyond
> Microsoft's or Freetype's. If either of them could match the
> quality of font rendering on a MacBook, I'd be all for it, but
> instead of the crisp, high contrast fonts you get on an Mac, you
> just wind up with fonts with blurry edges that are ugly and hard to
> read.

I think you're right for OS X 10.5 and 10.6, I had 10.5 on my PC for
6 months & never noticed a problem, but I'm reading this on an old
iBook running 10.4 and the anti-aliasing is *crap!* It's funny, I've
had this machine sat next to a linux box with freetype's autohinter
and the linux machine's screen was so much more readable. Perhaps
it's because this iBook doesn't have its original screen, but I've
done my best to calibrate it.
Received on Mon Sep 06 2010 - 14:05:20 CEST

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