[Mageia-dev] why not disable bytecode interpreter in freetype2 ?

Liam R E Quin liam at holoweb.net
Wed May 11 06:23:07 CEST 2011

On Wed, 2011-05-11 at 04:57 +0100, Zé wrote:
> In mandriva sincepatent expiration in freetype, fonts display wasnt
> smoth anymore and appeared ugly fonts, this used to exist just in
> plf..

Note that whether fonts are "ugly" is very subjective, and also varies
depending on one's eyes.

For example, people who wear glasses will often prefer their text *not*
to be antialiased, especially when the screen resolution is under 150
dpi and the viewing distance is under 18 inches / 0.5 metres) or so.

> But since theres no patents issues pending, why not old rendering
> algorithms by default (disable bytecode interpreter), that way fonts
> will have a better rendering and look.
For some fonts and for many (most?) people, this will look worse.

> This is most true for guys that are used to use small fonts, for
> example im used to use Sans size 8

I can't even see size 8 on my laptop without a magnifying glass. Not
because of my vision, but because 8pt text gives letterforms that for
lower case x-height is typically 1.4mm -and 8px gives me 0.7mm high

You can turn off the bytecode interpreter, e.g. using gnome in
preferences/appearance under fonts/details, or in fonts.conf, but you
can't turn it back on if it was disabled at compilation time.

You can also turn off antialiasing and sub-pixel positioning.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/

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