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Thread: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

  1. #21
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    Quote Originally Posted by angrykeyboarder
    Even the most die-hard *nix geek will tell you that X has not been the best when it comes to font rendering and will admit Windows has generally always done it better.
    Quote Originally Posted by angrykeyboarder
    What can I tell you. I've experienced just the opposite and I'm not alone. I will say X has come a long way over the past several years in the way of decent font rendering.
    Ubuntu in terms of fonts has been better than in MS Windows. The only two things I've changed are Bitstream Vera and turning on the autohinter.
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  2. #22
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    Unhappy Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    i very much respect the original author's efforts to compile this info, and everone's opinions on which os renders fonts better, but i have to say that i myself had no luck with font rendering in Ubuntu at all, and it's the main reason that i'm growing cold of Hoary.

    i like small fonts. most people, when they look at my typical computer screen, will be amazed at how small my fonts are. i always use high resolutions (1400x1050 and 1600x1200 typically) and that's one factor that makes the fonts look small, but i also want to make maximum use of available screen space, so i keep them small. and i have to add that i am amazed, when i look at most screenshots posted on this forum, at how big the fonts commonly used by people are. there's no use in disputing taste, and my taste is small fonts, but Ubuntu (and so far my impression has been that X in general) simply loses the game against Cleartype when it comes to rendering small fonts properly.

    i do not intend to heat up the debate any more. and please don't flame me because i'm speaking just based on my own experience. there are many good guides out there like this one with clear instructions as to how to improve font rendering in Ubuntu and Gnome in general, but i just haven't had any luck with any of them with my small fonts after weeks of wrestling with config files, and here i spill out my frustration

    the side by side comparison on the first post sums it up for me; Cleartype is just obviously so much better with small fonts. with larger ones, say, over 12, the game is more or less even though.

    i like Hoary more than any other OS i've used, and hope to get this major issue fixed somehow because i am (and i reckon lots of people in here are) very picky when it comes to fonts and look & feel in general. i'm waiting for april 8 now, to totally wipe things off and do a clean install of the final version of Hoary, and try to tackle this issue with a clean start.

    just ranting.
    Last edited by 23meg; April 5th, 2005 at 04:53 AM.
    Previously known as 23meg

  3. #23
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    I agree with 23meg. It boils down to ones own taste.

    Meg, how small are the fonts are we talking about? It would be nice to see how you setup your fonts. A screenshot if there's any.

  4. #24
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    i regard 7 to 11 as small.

    i've promised not to go back to my existing Hoary installation until April 8, and that will be to note down the latest state of everything directly and indirectly font-related before i reformat my linux partitions and do a clean install of Hoary's final version. that state, in fact, is so messed up after lots of tweaking; i've done things instructed by how-to guides, by experienced people i've met here and on irc, documented in wiki's and other online documentation, etc. in short, so many tweaks that i'm sure some of these are incompatible between themselves and are causing further trouble.

    so, long story short, i'm not going back to Hoary even to take a screenshot it's got on my nerves too much recently and that's just not healthy. i'll report back once i've reinstalled everything.
    Previously known as 23meg

  5. #25
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    (i'm so filled up on this; i can't help but keep ranting..)

    one of the articles that deelerious has linked to in the first post on this thread says that many recent Linux distros come with versions of the freetype library with Bytecode Interpreter support disabled due to legal issues with Apple, and for best results one needs to update freetype to the latest version with BCI enabled.

    what version of freetype do we have on Hoary right now? is it BCI-enabled? does choosing the Bytecode Interpreter option in fontconfig actually employ FreeType's BCI? (i doubt it)

    i've tried to follow the instructions on this detailed guide to anti-aliasing on the gnomesupport forums, and if i'm not getting things totally wrong the author there instructs that we need to actually rebuild Gnome and freetype with BCI support. quite an effort, and honestly i've not survived that guide, but there are people who report success with it.

    my point is that, if we already don't, we need to have the latest freetype built for Ubuntu with BCI support, or clear instructions on how to build it for Hoary! i haven't come across any .deb packages so far. i'd appreciate any info on this issue.
    Last edited by 23meg; April 5th, 2005 at 06:04 AM.
    Previously known as 23meg

  6. #26
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    The msttcorefonts package is in multiverse. I am a little worried about putting multiverse in my sources.list, since I broke my system a couple of times with backports and stuff like that.

    Can I just install msttcorefonts from multi or does it need all kinds of dependencies?

    In general my fonts don't look bad at all, except on this forum... Ain't it a bummer. The Ubuntu Guide site looks perfect, but that one specifies Bitstream Vera in its stylesheet. I have told firefox to use Bitstream, but it doesn't seem to work on the forums.

    Also, I'm running fluxbox instead of gnome, and liking it a lot. Altough I can start the gnome-font-config tool, I am not sure if it affects my desktop at all, probably not. Well, more digging to do!

  7. #27
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    OK, do first, ask questions later. I installed the msttcorefonts pack from multiverse and it just needs cabextract. Which is fine by me.

    After telling Firefox to use Arial instead of Bitstream Vera, even this forum looks nice! Hooray! A little fuzzy, so I might need to adjust the AA a bit, but that's it.

    Thanks!

  8. #28
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    Some folks need their glasses checked?

    I love gnu/linux, and I love Ubuntu, but I'm not going to lie and pretend that Bitstream Vera Sans is better than Verdana and Tahoma. It's just not. As 23meg pointed out, the difference becomes very obvious at small sizes. Crank Verdana and Bitstream down to 8 pts and compare for yourself.

    A lot of sloppiness is hidden by anti-aliasing, but I, personally, cannot stand blurry text. Sadly the only way to make Bitstream look decent is by anti-aliasing it all to hell.

    Those MS fonts are widely regarded as the best in the world, just because MS happens to own them doesn't mean they suck. It just means they paid for them. If Bill Gates buys the Mona Lisa, will that suck too? Do all the Beatles songs that Michael Jackson bought suck too?

  9. #29
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    Quote Originally Posted by J. S. Jackson
    Some folks need their glasses checked?

    I love gnu/linux, and I love Ubuntu, but I'm not going to lie and pretend that Bitstream Vera Sans is better than Verdana and Tahoma. It's just not. As 23meg pointed out, the difference becomes very obvious at small sizes. Crank Verdana and Bitstream down to 8 pts and compare for yourself.

    A lot of sloppiness is hidden by anti-aliasing, but I, personally, cannot stand blurry text. Sadly the only way to make Bitstream look decent is by anti-aliasing it all to hell.

    Those MS fonts are widely regarded as the best in the world, just because MS happens to own them doesn't mean they suck. It just means they paid for them. If Bill Gates buys the Mona Lisa, will that suck too? Do all the Beatles songs that Michael Jackson bought suck too?
    Excellent point. I think people instantly regard anything associated with Microsoft as "their crap" without even recognizing what the actual case is. Linux, in its most basic sense, is FREE, and so are all the programs that come with it. Just because they're free doesn't necessarily mean they suck, but typography professionals did design the ones Microsoft bought, and that's something the Linux community doesn't have by default. I'm sure if Arial/Tahoma/etc were freely licensed fonts, then Linux would have started using them a long time ago. But they aren't, so Linux doesn't have them by default.

    I think we're fortunate enough, however, to have truetype support in Linux as it is. Think about if there was no way to even use these fonts? I doubt many of the people here would want to use linux having it look ugly to them -- I know I wouldn't.

    I'd rather not be flamed for this post, but I think those of you totally against the FONTS associated with Windows/Microsoft should re-evaluate your opinion on where the fonts' origins are, because Microsoft did not make them.

    That's just my two cents.

  10. #30
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    Re: HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts

    a side by side comparison of how linux (with aa) and windows (with cleartype) render Verdana 8pt at 72dpi leaves me with a lot of disappointment. i'm still curious as to whether we have freetype's bytecode interpreter support enabled in ubuntu, and if not, whether enabling it will improve things (see my post above). this forum (customization tips & tricks) is not the place to ask questions though, and this deserves a thread of its own, so once i do my clean reinstall of hoary and get the basics right, i'll post one.
    Previously known as 23meg

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