fontconfig vs. Gnome

Alexander Sack asac at
Thu Mar 5 19:30:24 GMT 2009

On Thu, Mar 05, 2009 at 06:36:07PM +0000, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Rick Spencer wrote on 05/03/09 17:44:
> >...
> > Could you please tell us exactly how you think this should work? What
> > is your preference for how the user should configure the options?
> >...
> If we think the setting recommended by fontconfig is likely good, it
> should be the radio button selected by default in the Font preferences.
> For example, if fontconfig recommends subpixel smoothing, "Subpixel
> smoothing" should be selected by default in the Font preferences.
> To cater for the case of someone who changed the setting days or weeks
> ago and isn't sure what to change it back to, the string
> " (recommended)" could follow the label for whichever option is
> recommended by fontconfig. For example, if fontconfig recommends Best
> shapes for your display, that option could appear as "Best shapes
> (recommended)".
> If fontconfig allows other useful options not available in the Font
> preferences (such as a minimum size for anti-aliasing text, or never
> anti-aliasing kanji), then they should be made available individually in
> a future release. A take-it-or-leave-it "Automatic" checkbox would not
> be an obvious way of setting those options either.

Thanks for finally providing some input :). Anyway, I prefer
incremental changes that bring us forward instead of not doing
anything because we are blocked on ETOOMUCHTODO, or even

That said, nothing is perfect and there are always ways to do things
better, its just that you need a plan (and not just an idea) as in the
end someone has to do the groundwork and implement it.

In the long run gnome should speak fontconfig, I agree, but for now my
approach seems reasonable, and honestly, its not really bad UI wise
either. Also we need to learn what particular parts of fontconfig
users would want to tweak. Offering everything would definitly lead to
UI bloat. For now, its just automatic, vs. manual and using a checkbox
for that isn't that bad - I like that and its a good start to build on

So my suggestion: we do it as I suggested (we can always tweak here and
there if its really a bad thing) now; then based on the experiences
and feedback we get out of this, we can discuss and improve and
finally come up with a perfect gnome UI for this, make a spec out of
it and implement it.

 - Alexander

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