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Re: Antialiased text on X11

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: Antialiased text on X11
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 09:59:57 +0900

On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 16:21:06 -0500, Ali Ijaz Sheikh <address@hidden> wrote:
> > A lot of people _think_ they need AA support. Until I tell them about
> > the terminus-font that is. :-)
> I think that is a generalization; and a matter of opinion.

Well, surely not, since he was relating his experience, not stating a
general rule... :-)  But I understand your point.

> The fact of the matter is that anti-aliased
> fonts specially on LCD screens look much better than non-antialiased
> fonts.

This however, _is_ a generalization, and a matter of opinion.

I use beautiful anti-aliased fonts (with sub-pixel rendering on an
LCD) every day in firefox and gnome apps (ft2's auto-hinting is
incredibly good), and I also use Emacs alongside them.  Emacs is not
noticeably less beautiful.

The reason is simply that -- like Hans -- I've found a font that I
really like which looks good without anti-aliasing.

I think that in general what Hans says is correct:  it depends very
much on the particular font whether anti-aliasing helps significantly
or not (there are certain fonts which I far _prefer_ "non-smoothed",
and wish I knew how to make ft stop smoothing just those fonts).

However Emacs not supporting anti-aliasing certainly restricts one's
choices of fonts, because many fonts out there don't look good without
AA, and one's choice of sizes, because at extremely small sizes AA
becomes much more necessary.  If a user particularly likes a font that
needs AA, he's surely going to be a bit annoyed that he can't use it
in Emacs.  Obviously you are.  :-)

So I think Emacs should definitely support AA when it can, but it's
surely not as fundamental a requirement as has been suggested...

[The question of whether to support just xft or try to go for an
entire new rendering layer like Cairo is interesting -- my impression
is that porting to a new rendering layer is actually fairly
straight-forward; it might be the easier task than figuring out the
convoluted Emacs font-selection machinery (required in either case I
guess -- but it means that "xft only" might not be any easier

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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