Horrid fonts in Feisty

Rashkae ubuntu at tigershaunt.com
Tue May 1 18:44:43 UTC 2007

Kirk Strauser wrote:
> On Tuesday 01 May 2007, Rashkae wrote:
>> I have to correct my earlier statement.  That screenshot looks normal
>> for FreeSans without AA.
> Those thick vertical lines are completely broken.  If that's "normal", then 
> either the font itself is corrupted, or the renderer is wonky and no one's 
> bothered to fix it for non-antialiased settings.

I'm sorry, I'm afraid you're mistaken.

Those thick vertical lines are exactly 2 pixels thick, vs the other 
lines, which are 1 pixel thick.  Ultimately, that's the crux of scalable 
fonts on a low resolution display.  The fonts are designed for printers 
which, at a minimum, print at 300 dpi.  The font design specifies that 
those vertical lines should be a bit heavier.  When the renderer tries 
to display that on a 96dpi (approx) screen, all the lines are either 1 
pixel or 2 pixels thick.

That's where TTF hinting comes into play, which gives the font rendering 
engine more information to display fonts on a low resolution screen at 
small sizes (compressing the lines into a uniform thickness when the 
font is reduced to a certain size on screen)  Unfortunately, very few 
free fonts are hinted at all, and none are hinted *well*.  (For that 
matter Microsoft new Default UI font that you're not really allowed to 
change in Vista isn't hinted well either,, it looks just as shitty when 
you disable AA in Vista.. Sad sad sad.)

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