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Re: Antialiased fonts patch.

From: Michal Suchanek
Subject: Re: Antialiased fonts patch.
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 10:15:56 +0100

On 12 February 2010 08:20, Bruce Dubbs <address@hidden> wrote:
> Evgeny Kolesnikov wrote:
>> If we really care about speed we should use 1-bit fonts. Nothing can be
>> faster. And 1-bit fonts will stay here.
>> But if we care about eye-candy view, we should not throw away any bits
>> from FT library result. This will not be fast enough to replace 1-bit
>> fonts, and it will differ from other desktop apps. So, what the profit?

I personally don't want antialiasing to make grub pixel equivalent of
desktop applications but to get usable fonts at sizes different from
16px (or whatever unifont uses as it's the only fairly complete bitmap
font we have).

It turns out that rendering TrueType fonts into 1bit bitmaps yields
glyphs that are ugly and in some cases quite unreadable. If 4bit
bitmap improves this situation enough that we can get fonts of
different sizes that don't cause people run away in horror then 4bits
are good enough for me.

>> You also may concern about font size itsef (15-30 Mb for sub-pixel AA),
>> but who really care about it when 1 Tb HDD costs less than 100$? Also we
>> can gzip entire font file later if it will really be the problem.
> Actually I don't understand why AA fonts are needed for a screen that most
> users will look at for about 3 seconds to select their OS and boot.
> I suspect most distros will set up grub to skip the GRUB screen completely.
> Is the effort worth the cost?  I suppose doing it 'because you can' or
> because someone is 'scratching and itch' is OK, but I don't think it should
> be a major consideration.

There are two reasons. First you cannot make a stylish boot screen
with only single bitmap font. With grub legacy it turned out that some
people would care enough that they would fork the bootloader just to
get that so it is better if we can provide the feature in the main.

The other reason is that in some cases you will see the grub menu for
more than a few seconds. Some installation/live CDs would need to
provide help texts and option selections before the system boots
because selecting some options is vital for the system to booting at
all on some hardware.



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