[OpenIndiana-discuss] Subpixel Patches

Guido Berhoerster gber at openindiana.org
Mon Nov 8 10:21:15 UTC 2010

* Albert Lee <trisk at opensolaris.org> [2010-11-08 07:02]:
> On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 12:14 AM, Dustin Marquess <dmarquess at gmail.com> wrote:
> > All,
> >
> > Sorry in advance if this more of an IllumOS question, but I don't think it is.
> >
> > As somebody who sits and stares at an LCD all day long, I have a
> > nitpick for fonts looking good.  This has been one area that for me,
> > all *IXs have been falling flat on.
> >
> > In my quest, I found the following site:
> >
> > http://www.infinality.net/blog/?cat=4
> >
> > They offer patches for freetype, cairo, and libXft that make fonts
> > awesome.  Back in the OpenSolaris days, when I was attempting to move
> > my work laptop over, I managed to get freetype patched, but I always
> > had problems finding the correct cairo & libXft sources to
> > patch/install.
> >
> > Before I attempt again, is there any decent reason why these patches
> > shouldn't be in IllumOS/OpenIndiana proper?
> >
> > I went through all of the SRPMs and pulled out the font patches and
> > put them @ http://www.cmsnoc.com/font/ to make it easier to dig
> > through.
> >
> These changes are questionable. As hinting is usually meant to fit
> outlines to the pixel grid at small sizes for clarity, the phrase
> "subpixel hinting" is a bit of an oxymoron. The main part is
> self-described as simply disabling hinting along the X axis.
> Do these apply to the autohinter or the embedded hints? Do you have
> examples of rendering improvements? If there are improvements, why
> hasn't upstream adopted them?
> "Good" for font rendering is highly subjective. With the (formerly
> patented) bytecode interpreter enabled, I find the FreeType output for
> most fonts included with the system, such as the commonly used
> Liberation and DejaVu fonts, to be pleasant and have less noticeable
> artifacts than the Windows font renderer output with the Windows
> system fonts and Core Fonts.

This might be about the default fonts in GNOME, the DejaVu
condensed variants are not hinted, for more details see

gnome-appearance-properties also does not show the condensed
variant and makes is difficult to switch from the condensed,
unhinted to the regular width, hinted DejaVu fonts, you need to
select a different font family, confirm and then go back select
"Sans Regular". Or you switch using GConf directly which is not
that intuitive either.

Guido Berhoerster

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