Default font size in gnome

Ryan Hayle hackel+ubuntu-devel-discuss at
Sat Feb 28 19:09:38 UTC 2009

On 28/02/09 11:34, Nicolò Chieffo wrote:
> I wanted to do a check. I booted the alpha 5 livecd on 2 laptops:
> a 15.4" with 1280x800
> and my 14.1" with 1440x900
> The result is strange, since the 2 laptops render the font in 2 different ways.
> The first looks really good (and now I've understood why lots of
> people here are saying that the default font is ok)
> The second instead renders the font as it was BOLD.
> See the 2 photos of a comparison, taken with an 8mpx digital camera:
> Can you tell me if this is normal? I really thought that the result
> should be exactly the same, but as you can see it isn't.

Thanks for these, I think it's really illustrative of the problem.  Here 
is what my 15.4" 1920x1200 screen looks like:

I think I have perhaps been persuaded by the argument that the font size 
isn't unusably big, but this bold font issue definitely should be fixed. 
  As mentioned before, it might be a Freetype bug of some kind, or 
simply a fault in Bitstream/DejaVu Sans.  Perhaps we can push for fixing 
this issue and be satisfied with that.

The font hinting also seems to make things worse.  The default (Medium) 
and Full hinting make fonts look bolder, while slight hinting isn't 
bold, but makes them look noticeably larger.  Disabling hinting seems to 
looks the best to me, at least for DejaVu Sans.

Incidentally, the default size of the menubar appears to be defined in 
pixels as well.  This should be dependent on the DPI, or defined in some 
other units.  Notice how small the Firefox icon is next to the System 
menu, or the logout icon on the right.  Perhaps the default size should 
be set to DPI/4 (24px for 96dpi, 36 for me)


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