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Re: AA with potato (strictly)

I don't know if this is any help, but this is what I did to get AA working 
under potato with my Riva TNT.  Also, this is just based on my incomplete 
memory if the long and painful process, so anyone has a clue feel free to 
correct me...

Firstly, I got the XFree86 4.0.2 potato debs from
The sources.list lines that I have are:
deb http://people.debian.org/~cpbotha/ xf402_potato/i386/
deb http://people.debian.org/~cpbotha/ xf402_potato/all/
While you're there, install a new version of freetype.  I'm not sure if this 
new version of freetype is strictly necessary, and I don't want to break my 
system finding out right now.
Also, read the READ.THIS files!
When installing, you might have to put a bunch of packages on hold, but in 
the end apt-get check should not give you any problems.

Then, you have to setup your XF86Config-4 settings, font paths and XftConfig 
You need to have at least the following modules listed in your XF86Config-4 
    Load        "type1"
    Load        "freetype"

My font paths from XF86Config-4 are as follows:
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TrueType/"
    FontPath   "/usr/share/fonts/truetype/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/"
    FontPath   "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo/"
(Basically, put any directory that has truetype or type1 fonts in it at the 
top of the section, so they are used in preference to your bitmap fonts)
Don't forget to run ttfmkdir or mktffdir in each directory containing 
truetype fonts and mkfontdir in all the others.
Finally, you need to setup your XftConfig file.  Mine is below, it consists 
of lines stolen from the following: a)the Xfree86 sample file, b) the example 
file from task-anti-aliasing, c) my own fiddling, and d) whoever else I've 
--Start XftConfig
# XftConfig from http://keithp.com/~keithp/fonts/XftConfig
# Use with Type1 and TrueType fonts

dir "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
dir "/usr/share/fonts/truetype"
dir "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TrueType"

# alias 'fixed' for 'mono'
match any family == "fixed"		edit family =+ "mono";

#Check users config file
includeif	"~/.xftconfig"

# Substitute TrueType fonts for Type1 versions
match any family == "Times"		edit family += "Times New Roman";
match any family == "Helvetica"		edit family += "Verdana";
match any family == "Courier"		edit family += "Courier New";

# Use TrueType fonts for defaults
match any family == "serif" 		edit family += "Times New Roman";
--End XftConfig
Also, this may not work, since I have a large collection of truetype fonts 
from:freefonts,sharefonts,cp /mnt/win/windows/fonts/*.ttf /usr/share/fonts/, 
and from a bunch of other places.  On the other hand, they are all fairly 
free, so you might want to get them just to make your life easier.

Then, once this was working, I got the (binary-only) NVidia drivers from 
their site (can't find the link right now), and installed them.  Don't forget 
to change the 'nv' in XF86Config-4 to nvidia (it is in the instructions tho;).

Once you have have this all working properly, you can test to see if 
AA is going to happen at all.  Start up one xterm, and type xterm -fa 
courier.  This should take a while to start up, and when it does it will 
(hopefully!) be an xterm with anti-aliasing.  If you have crap eyes like me, 
run xmag and zoom in one some of the text within the xterm.  If there are 
gray pixels surrounding each letter, then you have AA working, otherwise, 
start again from the beginning...

If you've got this far, then you've found out two things: one, you're 
hardware supports AA, and two, you know how to make X believe your hardware 
supports AA.
I'm not sure if this is actually true or not but:
Or, I'm to stupid to figure out how to make them do it.  What I ended up 
doing was getting the source from sid and compiling it myself to make my own 
packages.  Unfortunately, I had never made a .deb before, so it took a long 
time just to figure out how to do that, but once I did, it all went fine.
The reason that the potato debs don't support AA is because potato only 
includes XFree86 3.3.6, which does not support the Xft extension that AA 
depends on.

Ok, now you'll have to install your freshly made little qt debs, replacing 
the ones you got from kde.debian.net.  Now, you'll want to restart KDE, by 
logging out or ctrl-alt-bkspc or whatever you normally do.  Start it up 
again, and go to the control center.  In the Look&Feel/Style section, choose 
'Use Anti-Aliasing for fonts and icons' and click apply.  Log out again, 
start it up again, and you should now have a beautifully AA'd desktop.  Oops, 
make sure you have KDE2.1.1 before you start, or the option to enable it 
won't show up in the Control Center.

Of course, even if you get this far, there are still a few hitches.  
Apparently, every app that starts has to scan the directories listed in 
XftConfig.  This means that every AA'd app WILL take ages longer to start, 
especially if you have a large number of fonts installed, like I seem to do.  
Also, maybe it's just my dodgy NVidia closed-source-it's-not-our-problem 
drivers, but the selection rectangles in list boxes are drawn funny, ie 
without one of the corners...
Also, KDE seems to take up a bit more memory than before.
As well, all your font settings will be screwed.  You'll only be able to 
select from AA'able fonts, ie TrueType and Type1, so make sure you have 
enough of them that you can get everything working all pretty like.
Also, you're apps will only be AA'd if the environment variable QT_XFT is set 
in the context that they are started in.  This is independent of the setting 
in the control center, so, if you wanted to, you could leave it unselected 
and just start up individual apps from an xterm or whatever with QT_XFT=1 
APP_NAME.  Some apps look absolutely crap with AA fonts, like konsole, so 
you'll want to take advantage of this.

Overall, using AA makes your desktop look absolutely gorgeous, so if you can 
take the memory/performance hit, and can be bothered to get it working, it is 
well worth it.

Okie-dokie folks, its 5am and I have to be at uni in two and a half hours, so 
there you go....feel free to email me with suggestions, flames, abuse or even 
some praise if this is useful at all.

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