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Old 11-21-2006, 03:13 AM   #1
tux_addict
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Slackware’s font rendering is superb


Whether we want to admit it or not, the rendering of fonts in GNU/Linux leaves something to be desired. However, the exception in my view is Slackware whose font rendering is superb. Does anyone know how Pat Volkerding makes his fonts so clear? This feature appears to be implemented in the desktop environment settings (if that makes any sense) because when I installed Mandriva 2006, while preserving my original home directory which was on a separate partition, the font effects carried over to Mandriva. Also, why is it so hard for other distros, particularly commercial distros, to achieve the same effect as Pat?
Cheers
 
Old 11-21-2006, 03:31 AM   #2
duryodhan
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Well I am a newbie so I haven't installed many distros, only Slackware, Suse ,FC5 and MEpis. I haven't noticed much of a difference. But again I may not be looking at the right places. Could you upload screenshots showin what you have said.
 
Old 11-21-2006, 05:33 AM   #3
fdahl_009
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I have tried many distros. But somehow I cant see whats the difference, though I sometimes have felt that the slackware is a bit more "polished"!

Have you compared using the same resolution?
 
Old 11-21-2006, 11:48 AM   #4
MS3FGX
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I have never noticed a difference either, personally. But I always hear people talking about how the fonts look worse than in Windows.
 
Old 11-21-2006, 03:22 PM   #5
Ruhar
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I definitely have noticed that the default font setup in Slackware is really nice. I'm a KDE user and the KDE fonts are exactly how I like them. I have found other distros sometimes have font settings that aren't very well integrated out of the box and require more work on your part to resolve.
 
Old 11-21-2006, 05:34 PM   #6
zytsef
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Maybe this is another example of Pat V not messing with stuff from further upstream. I imagine the KDE you get in Slack is the same as if you compiled it yourself with default settings. Since the people who create KDE know which fonts look best in their environment (and are therefore probably set as default) you end up with a good looking system. Whereas other distros tend to tweak things like fonts.

I'm reminded of the hideous background that comes as the default on Kubuntu...
 
Old 11-21-2006, 08:28 PM   #7
Ilgar
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I've had similar experiences. In the other distros that I installed recently, fonts were nice in 1280x1024 resolution, but in 1024x768 they looked blurry (so much that they were disturbing to my eyes). Each time I tried to tweak antialiasing, smoothing settings etc. but never could make it look like the Slack default. Maybe someone with better knowledge can do it. In only one of the distros I tried (Pardus), I saw this being corrected in the alpha->beta stage, so it is really the distros' fault, they somehow don't configure properly.

A few years ago Windows fonts and rendering were definitely better than those in Linux, but today my Slack's fonts are equally good, if not better (actually they look a bit better to me).
 
Old 12-02-2006, 04:41 AM   #8
tux_addict
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Font settings in KDE

I should have added that I anti-aliased my fonts. For the Desktop I use Helvetica 11pt. In my anti-alias settings I excluded 8pt to 12pt fonts as this improves the appearance of fonts in the terminal (Cursor 13pt). On my CRT screen (yes, there are those of us still using CRT monitors), Slackware renders fonts noticeably better than do other distros. But that’s only one of Slackware’s many good points.
 
Old 12-02-2006, 04:45 AM   #9
vharishankar
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Font rendering is not distribution specific... though latest versions of most distros ship with better font configuration by default.
 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:39 PM   #10
theoffset
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Actually, Slackware has the truetype-bytecode interpreter of freetype disabled (because of patent reasons), while I believe that many other distros enable it by default.

Personally, I also prefer the way fonts look without the bytecode interpreter, altho' I had to do some tweaking to make them look right in my laptop's LCD screen. Most people seem to prefer the look of the bytecode interpreter, tho'.

You can look at:
http://slackware.cs.utah.edu/pub/sla...ype.SlackBuild
 
Old 02-02-2007, 03:03 AM   #11
tux_addict
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FreeType Bytecode Interpreter

Re the bytecode interpreter, I finally installed the Freetype package and enabled the bytecode interpreter. I think the fonts look wonderful and it's probably going to result in less eyestrain for me. But somehow I still miss the default font rendering in Slackware! I’m using Verdana as the standard font.
 
Old 09-06-2007, 03:48 AM   #12
tux_addict
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Good tutorial on Fixing Font Display on LCDs

There’s an excellent tutorial on fixing the font display on LCDs here: http://slackwiki.org/LCD_Monitor_Configuration_In_X.Org. I’m currently running Debian Etch and using Verdana as my default font (I’ve tried all the non-proprietary fonts, including Red Hat’s Liberation fonts, but they’re just not up to scratch yet). Here’s a copy of my ~/.fonts.conf in case anyone would like to see it:

Quote:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">

<fontconfig>

<match target="font" >

<edit mode="assign" name="rgba" >

<const>rgb</const>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="font" >

<edit mode="assign" name="hinting" >

<bool>true</bool>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="font" >

<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >

<const>hintfull</const>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="pattern" >

<edit mode="assign" name="autohint" >

<bool>false</bool>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="pattern" name="family" >

<test name="family" qual="any" >

<string>sans-serif</string>

</test>

<edit mode="assign" name="family" >

<string>Verdana</string>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="pattern" name="family" >

<test name="family" qual="any" >

<string>monospace</string>

</test>

<edit mode="assign" name="family" >

<string>Courier New</string>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="pattern" name="family" >

<test name="family" qual="any" >

<string>serif</string>

</test>

<edit mode="assign" name="family" >

<string>Times New Roman</string>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="font" >

<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >

<bool>true</bool>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="font" >

<test compare="more_eq" name="size" qual="any" >

<double>8</double>

</test>

<test compare="less_eq" name="size" qual="any" >

<double>15</double>

</test>

<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >

<bool>false</bool>

</edit>

</match>

<match target="font" >

<test compare="more_eq" name="pixelsize" qual="any" >

<double>11</double>

</test>

<test compare="less_eq" name="pixelsize" qual="any" >

<double>20</double>

</test>

<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >

<bool>false</bool>

</edit>

</match>

</fontconfig>
 
Old 10-10-2007, 04:59 PM   #13
deNiro
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I am using a 21 inch s-pva HP screen (so you can say pretty good quality) @ 1680x1050

I don't think fontrendering is that good in slackware. at least not by default.

When i compare the fonts in a slackware and an ubuntu gutsy install the difference is huge. In ubuntu Gutsy the fonts look just fantastic and in slackware it's only doable. I mean, if you have perfect eyesight, that's probably good enough. I was really shocked how big the difference was.

But if you're older (or always had no perfect eyesight) and your eyesight is not so perfect anymore (mine is +0.5 and +1.5) , and work all day, and have to look at those fonts in slackware , it's just terrible, for a desktop system. (especially if you spend some hours behind it)

Now i did some effort like recompiling freetype with the extra's, using the MS fonts, playing with .fonts.conf, and gtk settings, and that helped, but i never reached the almost perfect fontrendering in ubuntu gutsy. (and really i'm not even an ubuntu fan, i use slackware and OpenBSD)

To check if this difference lies with Gnome, i installed dropline on slackware. And that didn't do the trick. The fonts are not superbad, but really really not great.

I like to spend a lot of time behind the pc, staring at text, programming a bit, playing games, etc etc., and clear fonts are extremely important on a desktop system. Especially if your eyesight is not perfect (yeah i have glasses) and you like to spend some hours behind it.

Yeah, you can find some info on how to improve it, but most info is fragmented, incomplete, helps a bit or only works for or for kde, or for gnome or for gtk. Having a mixed environment is then just a big frustration and takes so much time to make fonts a bit better.

So, basicly i say fontrendering in slackware is just average, and i wish it was as good as in ubuntu gutsy. But that's just my opinion.
 
Old 10-11-2007, 12:05 AM   #14
Daedra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deNiro View Post
I am using a 21 inch s-pva HP screen (so you can say pretty good quality) @ 1680x1050

I don't think fontrendering is that good in slackware. at least not by default.

When i compare the fonts in a slackware and an ubuntu gutsy install the difference is huge. In ubuntu Gutsy the fonts look just fantastic and in slackware it's only doable. I mean, if you have perfect eyesight, that's probably good enough. I was really shocked how big the difference was.

But if you're older (or always had no perfect eyesight) and your eyesight is not so perfect anymore (mine is +0.5 and +1.5) , and work all day, and have to look at those fonts in slackware , it's just terrible, for a desktop system. (especially if you spend some hours behind it)

Now i did some effort like recompiling freetype with the extra's, using the MS fonts, playing with .fonts.conf, and gtk settings, and that helped, but i never reached the almost perfect fontrendering in ubuntu gutsy. (and really i'm not even an ubuntu fan, i use slackware and OpenBSD)

To check if this difference lies with Gnome, i installed dropline on slackware. And that didn't do the trick. The fonts are not superbad, but really really not great.

I like to spend a lot of time behind the pc, staring at text, programming a bit, playing games, etc etc., and clear fonts are extremely important on a desktop system. Especially if your eyesight is not perfect (yeah i have glasses) and you like to spend some hours behind it.

Yeah, you can find some info on how to improve it, but most info is fragmented, incomplete, helps a bit or only works for or for kde, or for gnome or for gtk. Having a mixed environment is then just a big frustration and takes so much time to make fonts a bit better.

So, basicly i say fontrendering in slackware is just average, and i wish it was as good as in ubuntu gutsy. But that's just my opinion.
I have spent A LOT if time with fonts and Slackware and have always agreed that fonts were subpar. deNiro check out these two post about fonts. I started one and the other one I posed my packages so that others can get the same results. if your interested.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...kware.-539868/
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...t-geek-570440/

If you have any questions let me know
 
Old 10-11-2007, 02:57 AM   #15
deNiro
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daedra,

I'll try tonight (or tomorrow when i don't have time) when i'm home. Thanks for the info, and i'll let you know the results.
 
  


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