Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Sep 2010 19:14 UTC
Internet Explorer After several months and preview releases, Microsoft has finally lifted the curtain for the Windows Explorer 9 beta release. Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft's attempt at not just catching up to the competition, but at actually surpassing them. Since enough sites will be focusing on just how many nanoseconds faster or slower the beta is compared to the competition, I'll talk a little about the new minimalist interface.
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nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

They are trying to downplay the situation in that article but it is true that it is more of a problem at smaller sizes.

On my monitor that title just looks a bit thin in IE9 but the letters look fine. The fonts in this thread are what look a little fuzzy.

This is the WPF 4.0 fix:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/text/archive/2009/08/24/wpf-4-0-text-stack-...

and if you look in the comments you can see that there are still complaints. It's a huge improvement from the original WPF release though. I've seen quite a few comments on places like stackoverflow where .net developers have been avoiding WPF for this reason.

It really breaks down to favoring accuracy over readability with the assumption that monitors would have higher DPIs by now. Firefox uses direct2d for hardware acceleration and is running into the same problem:
http://www.neowin.net/news/mozilla-to-release-firefox-beta-4-on-mon...

Edited 2010-09-16 16:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

As you probably understand microsoft's internal organization better than me, could you explain me why Microsoft doesn't simply push an update to WPF that automatically switches font rendering to display mode under 15 pt fonts and ideal mode above 15 pt ? Couldn't that be a simple and efficient fix while screens improve ?

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

As you probably understand microsoft's internal organization better than me, could you explain me why Microsoft doesn't simply push an update to WPF that automatically switches font rendering to display mode under 15 pt fonts and ideal mode above 15 pt ? Couldn't that be a simple and efficient fix while screens improve ?


For the record I don't work for MS but I do work with .net most days.

They could certainly have a program setting that auto-switches depending on a font size set by the developer. Perhaps they are keeping it as a text option to discourage its use, they were after all reluctant to do anything in the first place. A key goal of WPF is precision vector scaling of objects so their initial reaction was that's how it is supposed to work. But .net is popular with enterprise where 17" 1024x768 monitors are still common so there was an angry backlash.

Anyways there is another problem with these hacks which is that WPF is not a system wide library. Their TextOption hack is in .net 4 which is bleeding edge. ISVs that release on the internet are very resistant when it comes to requiring the latest framework. Non-technical users are often hesitant to install the latest .net framework, especially if they are running XP. The most bleeding edge targeting I have seen is Paint.net and it requires .net 3.5SP1 which ships with Win7. Note that XP did not ship with any .net framework .

So WPF was already facing an uphill battle without the font issue. It will be adopted but not as fast as MS wanted.

Reply Parent Score: 2