Linked by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 15th Nov 2005 17:44 UTC
Apple I recently bought one of the new dual core PowerMacs. Having used the machine for a couple of weeks, I thought I would share some of my observations and feelings about it. First, let me get my biases out in the open. I have, for about four years, very happily used Linux on my desktop. Doing so has made me very comfortable with the UNIX environment in general, and with GNOME specifically. During that time, I have used OS X machines on a regular basis, so I am quite comfortable in that environment as well. Since I switched to Linux, I have not used Windows for anything more than the occasional bit of software testing or lab work, and generally feel quite uncomfortable with it. Thus, this article is very much written from the perspective of someone who finds OS X and Linux pleasing on principle. I implore the reader to make his own value judgments based on my comments.
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Fonts!
by Marciano on Tue 15th Nov 2005 20:12 UTC
Marciano
Member since:
2005-07-08

A good article overall. Also, Rayiner hit the nail on its head when he talked about fonts: OSX rendering is less distorted (more faithful to the design ideal) but more fuzzy; WinXP's Cleartype is sharper but more distorted; and Freetype's autohinting is a good compromise---for fonts that were designed with autohinting in mind, such as the Vera family.

[I use Suse 10.0 at work, I have a Powerbook laptop, and my wife has a Dell laptop running WinXP, so I have plenty of opportunities to compare the three platforms.]

However, I'd like to add that Freetype's autohinting does not quite cut it with fonts, such as Times New Roman and, to some extent, Arial, that are designed to perform significant distortions (or transformations) in the Truetype bytecode depending on point size. Clearly, the autohinter cannot pick up these transformations, which results in font shapes and sizes that are quite a ways off from the intended design. This shows up markedly in web pages designed for specific point sizes (e.g. CNN.com). If the bytecode interpreter is turned on, subpixel antialiasing looks quite fuzzy. The OSX font renderer tries to strike a different balance, and does make use of the Truetype bytecode.

M

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