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Old 11-05-2010, 05:54 PM   #1
mircan
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Fonts in Gnome


Hello,
I've got the following question. Why do fonts (of the panel and in Firefox for example) in different distros differ despite the fact that the settings of hinting and subpixel rendering are the same? Below are screenshots of Debian and Mandriva with the same settings of fonts in Gnome System->Preferences->Appearance menu.
Is it possible to make Mandriva (or Fedora for example) look similarly to Debian?
Attached Images
File Type: png debian.png (12.6 KB, 12 views)
File Type: png mandriva.png (13.4 KB, 13 views)

Last edited by mircan; 11-05-2010 at 05:58 PM.
 
Old 11-05-2010, 06:40 PM   #2
carlosinfl
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That is because of the DPI setting's specific to each distribution as the package maintainers for Gnome. You can change this if you select the 'fonts' tab and change the DPI settings. That's exactly what you're looking for.
 
Old 11-05-2010, 07:08 PM   #3
mircan
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Thanks for the reply, byt the DPI settings are the same - 96 in both systems...

Last edited by mircan; 11-06-2010 at 05:32 AM.
 
Old 11-06-2010, 06:30 PM   #4
carlosinfl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mircan View Post
Thanks for the reply, byt the DPI settings are the same - 96 in both systems...
Yeah but there's a button at the bottom that I can't think of right now. I will post a pic when I'm back in the office but I know exactly what you're talking about.
 
Old 11-09-2010, 08:31 AM   #5
mircan
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Hi, thanks in advance and I'm waiting for the pic of the button.
 
Old 11-10-2010, 09:13 AM   #6
carlosinfl
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Here's my fonts window in Gnome. As you can see my fonts and textures are nice and smooth:

Link

and at the bottom there's a 'details' button and make sure yours appears something like this:

Link
 
Old 11-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
mircan
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In both Mandriva and Debian all settings, including those you're speaking of, are the same. And the appearance of the fonts are different.
 
Old 11-11-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
carlosinfl
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Which one looks better to you, Debian or Mandriva? Do you have proprietary video drivers installed on either of the machines? Perhaps one has fonts that the other is missing? I'm out of ideas simply because I don't use Mandriva or ever have...
 
Old 11-15-2010, 04:09 AM   #9
mircan
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I prefer the look of Debian. The bahaviour of fonts in Red Hat and Fedora is similar to those from Mandriva. Byt the whole thing is not so important. I was simply curious about it. Thanks for the replies.
 
Old 11-16-2010, 11:03 AM   #10
i92guboj
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There are many things on the stack that are responsible for drawing fonts in Linux, which makes the question a bit difficult to answer.

First there's hardware/drivers. Each driver will draw in a different way, same for hardware, they are the same thing in a sense.

Then there's X, libXft, freetype and a couple other libraries that are responsible for the lower level of the font rendering in GUI environments (unless you are using SDL under framebuffer or something else). Note that these libraries (and X itself) can be compiled with different ./configure options, amongst them different hinters, which will produce drastically different results. There are also different versions of the libs, which will produce different results. Combine all of that, you get the idea.

To add to the mix, a thing worth considering is that most distros like to add custom patches to the graphic stack to make things look nice, and patches varies from one distro to the next.

For most programs there's yet another middle-man: the toolkits, whatever their purpose is; Gtk+, Qt, fltk, cairo, glitz, poppler ...

Now get to the fonts. Again, version numbers do matter.

I can't help you solve the issue, but now at least you can start to get a feeling how impossible is to know what exactly is going on. The linux font rendering stack has become a bit too complex for my tastes.
 
Old 11-17-2010, 05:03 AM   #11
mircan
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Quote:
I can't help you solve the issue, but now at least you can start to get a feeling how impossible is to know what exactly is going on. The linux font rendering stack has become a bit too complex for my tastes.
Yeah, I see it's not easy
 
Old 11-18-2010, 02:37 AM   #12
i92guboj
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I forgot another important thing that might be of some interest for you. Because of patent issues, distros in some countries might not be allowed to distribute binaries of freetype with FT_CONFIG_OPTION_SUBPIXEL_RENDERING enabled. However no one stops you from building your own. In Gentoo this is controlled with an USE flag. Other distros might offer US and non-US packages or something like that. I have no idea if these patents claims still hold. For what the following link says, the don't. But your distro might still not be aware.



http://freetype.org/patents.html
 
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:17 PM   #13
mircan
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@i92guboj
You were right about the patents issues. I tested it by installing the package from here: http://hany.sk/~hany/RPM/rpmfusion-f...fc14.i686.html in Fedora 14. The site claims it's compiled with those settings you mentioned enabled. And the result is the fonts in Fedora look exactly like in Debian. You were dafinitely right. Thanks.

Last edited by mircan; 02-07-2011 at 04:19 PM.
 
  


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