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Re: unicode font-backend + tiling

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: unicode font-backend + tiling
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 15:37:52 +0900

Jan Djärv <address@hidden> writes:
>> I've thought that aa is useful for small sizes.
> Usually not.  The smaller size the worse it looks.  OSX has a system setting 
> where you can set the smallest size when AA is used.

The common wisdom, as I understand it, is that AA is "bad" for normal
sizes, but good at big sizes, and good at very small sizes.  Try it with
firefox or something -- without AA very small characters simply become
unrecognizable blobs at some point, but with AA, they are surprisingly
readable, if unpleasantly fuzzy (and better fuzzy than unreadable :-).

Where exactly the dividing lines are I guess depends on many factors,
how good the rendering technology is, the font hinting, the general font
design, etc.

I think freetype displaying latin characters with bitstream vera fonts
is good enough at AA that it's better to always leave it on, even at
normal body text sizes (it's amazingly good -- for instance it keeps
horizontal and vertical strokes as single-pixel high contrast lines
where possible, only using other colors to subtly fill in various round
bits; vera's design seems to mesh well with this to yield a very
readable result).

Some other platform/font combinations aren't as good, so you might want
to disable AA at normal body text sizes for readability.  E.g., the
current discussion is about CJK fonts, which often have many more fiddly
bits than latin fonts, and those CJK fonts I have access to don't look
great when AA'd at normal sizes (it's a shame because in the past I have
seen extremely good anti-aliased CJK fonts on Debian, and I have no idea
what exact combination of factors was responsible!).


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