[OpenIndiana-discuss] Subpixel Patches

Dustin Marquess dmarquess at gmail.com
Mon Nov 8 15:57:43 UTC 2010

The reason upstream probably hasn't accepted the patches (besides any
patent issues) are because of what you said, fonts rendering is really
a personal opinion.  Some people like different settings, obviously.

There's an example of the patches on the linked page at

I understand if these can't be merged in, however is there an easy way
for an end user to pull the IllumOS source for those packages, patch
them, and rebuild them themselves?  When I last attempted this w/
OpenSolaris, it was really confusing.


On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 12:02 AM, Albert Lee <trisk at opensolaris.org> wrote:
> 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.
> -Albert
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