Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Jan 2007 15:00 UTC, submitted by editingwhiz
Linux "The OSDL's Desktop Linux Working Group has published its first year-end report on the state of the overall desktop Linux ecosystem. The report provides insight into the year's key accomplishments in terms of functionality, standards, applications, distributions, market penetration, and more."
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Invincible Cow
Member since:

You can go to to see where I got the screenshot from.

I now installed additional fonts with easyubuntu. That caused the font here on osnews to get very bad, but the font on google now looks beatiful.

Here is a screenshot of how it looks on Ubuntu after I installed the additional fonts (which shouldn't have to be done):
Apart from the overall below-par kerning there are some unacceptable things going on: A line on the k is almost disappeared, all the y's looks mushy and all r's looks like an i with its dot falled down on its right side. No font settings was changed from the default Ubuntu installation.
The screenshots from the previous post for comaprision:
I now saw that the W is also dreadfully rendered on Ubuntu, but there isn't any W on the screenshot.

> Choose a better font then.
What I'm saying is that as long as the user has to manually select a better font to get a non-mushy one, Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

> > Either some people here are lying or they use font size 16 only, or they are completely blind.
> My minimum font size is set to 8.
Since Firefox is the only place I know where you can select a "minimum font size", I presume you mean in Firefox. The problem is, that the lowest number in the drop-down menu for minimum font size is 9. Should I conclude with my scenario number one (lying) or scenario 3 (blind)?

> > I shouldn't have to do anything to get readable fonts out of the box.
> You don't. You can get OSX-quality fonts by enabling anti-aliasing *and* turning off hinting.
If I have to enable antialiasing and turning off hinting, then I have to DO something, right?

> your X server is probably misconfigured and using Type-1 bitmaps instead.
If the X server is misconfigured out of the box on the world's most popular distro, then Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

Fonts are either too large on some pages and correct on others:
Or they are correct on some pages and too small on thoers:

Since Windows and Mac manages to use about the same sizes, surely Linux can't be "correct" in the sense that it displays fonts they way the designers wants them to look.

And, as I said earlier, it's not only about the fonts themselves, the font sizes are also inconsistent:

Have a look at the screenshot of GDM:
1. Why on earth does the text field use that miniature font?
2. That last letter (in the text field) is a c, right? Would you believe it if I told you it's actually an o? Sure you would believe me if I said that, but it's actually ... a d! Change any of the four preceding letters and the caret will not be rendered over the stem of the d any more. Write "rond" and the caret will overlap the d. Every time. That's the font renderer of "the most beautiful desktop ever".

Reply Parent Score: 2

cerbie Member since:

Web pages: that site uses a damn small font. does look OK in Windows as-is, with either defaults or Bitstream Vera Sans forced (my preference, regardless of OS). Non-subpixel looks better on both platforms when using AA.

With FF on PCLOS and Zenlive, it looks terrible, AA or not, even with freetype2 set up as much as can be w/o editing text files (I know it can be made to look much better, but that's not the point). Turning off hinting helps some, but not really enough.

Honestly, I don't encounter such hard to read pages on a normal basis. The fine print below this text area, and most small fonts, look fine. Most of the time I'm not here using Windows. Doing ctrl+ to raise the size helps quite a bit, but it shouldn't be needed. OTOH, what is to be corrected for that page not looking right, when Google, FI, looks fine, even its fine print?

As far as relative font sizes go, if the font size is not specified, it's all up to the browser, and it's the browser's fault. If that's not good enough, then have any pages for yourself done so that H# tags are done in % or em. Also, I don't see anything wrong with them. There is no imperative to make the sizes uniform across websites; just consistent on any single website.

I was hoping to pop a CD in (live CD to know no extra configuration has been done), and prove you wrong, I do think you're being a bit anal (FI, with the GDM nitpicking), but you're not wrong.

Now, on to the GUI bits: that looks like the GIMP. Please, is there any other app you can use for an example? I took shots and edited them (er, and saved them) with the GIMP here, and it has once again shown that it has one of the worst UIs in existence. Italics and multiple font sizes used in a dialog (italics will always look bad with such low DPI--no one should use them for a computer display if they can't be sure they are going to be 30+px high) is just seeing the iceberg from the horizon with the GIMP. The tip of the comes much later (like the save dialog, being the one that annoyed me only minutes ago).

I don't see much of a problem with GDM, there. It acts the same I've always been used to, good or bad: I'm not used to be able to distinguish c/o/d, l or nothing, n/r, etc., when there is a visible cursor.

Edited 2007-01-28 00:47

Reply Parent Score: 1

rayiner Member since:

FYI, this is what the screenshot looks like on Debian with the new FreeType 2.3:

In general, for good looking fonts, you want a bone-stock FreeType with no silly TrueType hinting stuff. At least Ubuntu used to ship that way in Hoary and Breezy. Dapper should still do it if you go to GNOME's font preferences -> details -> "light" hinting. Fedore Core 6 does some bytecode interpreter idiocy, and borks FireFox's fonts completely, again, don't ask me why.

Reply Parent Score: 2