fontconfig vs. Gnome

Alexander Sack asac at
Thu Mar 5 15:57:08 GMT 2009

On Thu, Mar 05, 2009 at 03:51:03PM +0200, Ilmari Vacklin wrote:
> 2009/3/5 Alexander Sack <asac at>:
> > "Hi, just wanted to tell you that I upgraded to jaunty and now my
> > fonts look great everywhere - on all my  monitors, even in all apps I
> > use. I am so happy that i don't need to fiddle with font configuration
> > - which i previously found to be hidden in the Appearence preference
> > dialog. BTW, I looked there now, but I will just leave the 'Automatic
> > shapes" checkbox enabled as it seems to do the right thing for
> > me. Thanks for your great work!"
> I don't much trust this argument, since by default the fonts on Ubuntu
> look horrid to me. I prefer disabling hinting altogether.
> Is this feature meant for administrators?

The main driver for looking into this just now was to allow us to ship
configs that automatically adapt to CRT and LCD.

But there is more potential here; for instance, fontconfig allows us
to ship special hinting tweaks considering the individual fonts, sizes
and dpi used.

Of course, admins/users can also tweak fontconfig rules manually if
they want, but for jaunty the main driver for this change is to get
better defaults. Of course, users can still go to the gnome fonts
config and disable automatic to use whatever settings they used there

> In principle it is a good feature, but I would like to make the
> fontconfig configuration more obvious: expose a graphical configurator
> for it.

I agree that having a more complete configuration UI in gnome which
also speaks fontconfig rules would be a worthwhile thing to have at
some point, but thats not in the pipeline for jaunty.

 - Alexander

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