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Re: libcairo2 in squeeze & subpixel rendering

On Mon, Aug 09, 2010 at 08:54:16PM +0200, Sebastian Krause wrote:
> Stanislav Maslovski <stanislav.maslovski@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I am pretty sure porting is doable and I think I can volunteer to do
> > this. But before it, let us collect more opinions. It would be nice to
> > know what does the release team think about it. BTW, suboptimal
> > subpixel rendering of fonts in Debian is one of the reasons why many
> > desktop users switch to other distros.
> I actually switched back *to* Debian from Ubuntu because I found the
> font rendering in Ubuntu totally horrible. Especially in Firefox
> fonts were really blurry and last time I checked they still haven't
> fixed it.
> By choosing the "Autohinter" option in "dpkg-reconfigure
> fontconfig-config" (which is also broken in Ubuntu) and enabling
> full hinting I actually like the rendering very much in Debian. At
> least using the DejaVu fonts which I basically have everywhere.

This is not surprising, as the legacy filter which was first
introduced in xft and then appeared in cairo was fine-tuned
specifically for the fonts with which you use full hinting,
such as DejaVu fonts or msttcorefonts.

My point is that rather let the user decide which fonts and which
settings are better for her. With the present cairo in squeeze this is
impossible (in cairo-based applications), while if we apply the change
I propose, you will still get your sharp and crispy DejaVu fonts with
hintstyle=hintfull and lcdfilter=lcdlegacy. From the other hand,
another user, who prefers slightly hinted fonts with better outlines,
will be also happy, as she will set hintstyle=hintslight and

You did not like Ubuntu's font rendering because, I guess, you had the
default lcdfilter. As I wrote in my initial post (have you read it?)
it was not the best choice for strongly hinted fonts.

Thus I repeat: the subpixel rendering of fonts in current squeeze is
suboptimal, because instead of providing flexibility and full control
it virtually limits the choice of fonts by roughly two families, one
of which is non-free.


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