fontconfig vs. Gnome

Rick Spencer rick.spencer at
Thu Mar 5 19:59:20 GMT 2009

On Thursday 05 March 2009 11:30:24 Alexander Sack wrote:
> 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
> top.
> 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

This sounds a little complex. Could I (re)suggest that we simply force 
everyone to default to subpixel smoothing in Jaunty? In other words, still 
allow GNOME to override fontconfig, but have force a different option?

Cheers, Rick

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