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#1 2007-06-09 11:56:58

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Improved subpixel font rendering

You may already know it from http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php? … 73#p257173 or http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=343670. I've taken very similar patches from PLD's cairo and xorg-lib-libXft RPM SPECs and ported them to Arch. You can see some screenshot at David Turner's (original author of mentioned LCD filter) resources (http://david.freetype.org/lcd/lcd-filter-1.png) or PLD developer's weblog (http://room-303.com/blog/2007/05/24/pld … g-printer/).

Generally speaking, the patches improve subpixel rendering (and ONLY subpixel rendering) quality, but there are some patent issues so they won't get merged upstream. The difference isn't THAT big, but IMHO noticeable.

So, after some introduction, have a look at cairo-lcd and libxft-lcd, both in AUR. These are just stock packages with an additional patch applied, as my goal is not to modify original ones too much. Also, there is no need to patch freetype, in opposite to *-cleartype packages (also bit outdated for now).

Give it a try wink.

Last edited by pkraw (2007-06-09 11:58:42)

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#2 2007-06-09 21:16:17

GaBMaTrIx
Member
From: Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2004-02-11
Posts: 13

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Thanks, I'll surely try them out tonight!

Do you consider them better than the *-cleartype ones in AUR? I'm running those already and found them much better than stock....


"No limits. No fears. No substitutes."

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#3 2007-06-09 21:58:44

paulr
Member
Registered: 2007-03-23
Posts: 49

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Nice .... definite improvement .... I think ;-)

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#4 2007-06-10 09:42:39

Neuro
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 352

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Outstanding! Thanks a bunch! Truly amazin.

Actually, I think this should get merged. This would make Arch the best font-rendering distro available!

Last edited by Neuro (2007-06-10 10:29:51)

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#5 2007-06-10 12:56:07

Kenetixx
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From: /unvrs/mlkywy/earth/aust/home
Registered: 2006-09-09
Posts: 258
Website

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Yep looks really nice, should be a current package ?


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#6 2007-06-10 13:10:32

Beini
Member
From: Finland
Registered: 2007-06-06
Posts: 78

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Thanks, I have been patching my own PKGBUILDS but it's nice to have someone else to do it for you smile

At least for me the difference is big, i got used to those smooth fonts when i was using Gentoo with those patches.

Here's the wiki about those on Gentoo: http://wiki.gentoo-xeffects.org/Font_Rendering

Includes example fonts.conf and some final steps... I don't know are they needed when using arch.


archlinux x86_64 user || My PKGBUILDs

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#7 2007-06-10 14:24:20

chaosgeisterchen
Member
From: Kefermarkt, Upper Austria
Registered: 2006-11-20
Posts: 550

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Kenetixx wrote:

Yep looks really nice, should be a current package ?

No, I do not think, that these patches work for all monitor types. They are names libxft-lcd and cairo-lcd, because they improve font rendering for LCD displays but I do not know if they would look good on CRT displays. Has anyone tried it out?

If they work perfectly for LCD displays as well, it would be a reason to move them to current and thereby give Arch the best default font rendering around.


celestary
Intel Core2Duo E6300 @ 1.86 GHz
kernel26
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#8 2007-06-10 14:27:47

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

I have never tried *-cleartype, so I can't say if my *lcd are better. I created them because I wasn't sure what patches the former include, and because they were outdated a bit too. I take my patches from PLD packages (see http://cvs.pld-linux.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/SOURCES and http://cvs.pld-linux.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/SPECS - cairo.spec and xorg-lib-libXft.spec), though I had to slightly modify David Turner's cairo-1.2.4-lcd-filter-1.patch (see http://david.freetype.org/lcd this time) to make it apply to new cairo. As long as PLD developers will maintain the custom LCD filter support, merging it with Arch shouldn't be a problem wink.

As I mentioned, there are some patent issues, so I'm not sure if it is possible to include these in current (although they are used by default in PLD). Arch developers should decide the question.

Thanks Beini, I'll surely take a look at "Gentoo way"".

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#9 2007-06-10 14:32:02

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

chaosgeisterchen wrote:

No, I do not think, that these patches work for all monitor types. They are names libxft-lcd and cairo-lcd, because they improve font rendering for LCD displays but I do not know if they would look good on CRT displays. Has anyone tried it out?

If they work perfectly for LCD displays as well, it would be a reason to move them to current and thereby give Arch the best default font rendering around.

These patches modify only the way subpixel rendering works, and this is used mostly for LCD displays. For CRT, just use grayscale smoothing.

EDIT:
The name in fact can be misleading, I haven't thought about it when submitting. Sorry.

Last edited by pkraw (2007-06-10 14:33:23)

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#10 2007-06-10 19:58:39

cpu
Member
Registered: 2007-02-22
Posts: 68

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

There is improvement indeed smile Please maintain these packages in AUR smile ! Thanks!

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#11 2007-06-10 20:53:30

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

New cairo package has just been released (1.4.6 vs 1.4.8), but Turner's patch doesn't apply cleanly to it.  I have no time for now to solve this (FCE exams in progress...), so I'll have to wait for PLD devs to take care of it. Or maybe I'll try to look at Gentoo version, as I have already mentioned.

Last edited by pkraw (2007-06-10 20:54:18)

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#12 2007-06-10 22:30:08

chaosgeisterchen
Member
From: Kefermarkt, Upper Austria
Registered: 2006-11-20
Posts: 550

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Thanks for your work - I will have to exclude cairo from the updates then.


celestary
Intel Core2Duo E6300 @ 1.86 GHz
kernel26
KDEmod current repository

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#13 2007-06-11 00:26:45

ruimoura
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 23
Website

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Amazing stuff. This was what i was looking for since i moved into Arch ... Thank you so much.


Microsoft gives you windows, Linux gives you the whole house

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#14 2007-06-12 17:26:05

TWINc
Member
Registered: 2007-04-25
Posts: 2

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Thanks! Now fonts render really nice!

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#15 2007-06-12 21:50:23

The_ouroboros
Member
From: Pavia, Italy
Registered: 2007-05-28
Posts: 140

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

fantastic work!!
Now fonts are veery good to see wink wink


Gnu/Linux User on Arch(x86_64)

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#16 2007-06-12 23:13:52

augustob
Member
From: Florianópolis, Brazil
Registered: 2006-03-17
Posts: 134

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

The new cairo-lcd pkgbuild, the one that checks the patch out of CVS, is giving me the following error:

==> Starting build()...
U src/cairo-1.2.4-lcd-filter-1.patch
patching file src/cairo-ft-font.c
Hunk #2 succeeded at 691 with fuzz 1 (offset -12 lines).
Hunk #4 succeeded at 1032 (offset -14 lines).
Hunk #6 FAILED at 1078.
Hunk #7 succeeded at 1083 (offset -18 lines).
Hunk #9 FAILED at 1187.
Hunk #10 succeeded at 1625 (offset -22 lines).
2 out of 10 hunks FAILED -- saving rejects to file src/cairo-ft-font.c.rej
==> ERROR: Build Failed.  Aborting...

Anyone have a fix already?

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#17 2007-06-13 07:07:08

The_ouroboros
Member
From: Pavia, Italy
Registered: 2007-05-28
Posts: 140

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

augustob wrote:

The new cairo-lcd pkgbuild, the one that checks the patch out of CVS, is giving me the following error:

==> Starting build()...
U src/cairo-1.2.4-lcd-filter-1.patch
patching file src/cairo-ft-font.c
Hunk #2 succeeded at 691 with fuzz 1 (offset -12 lines).
Hunk #4 succeeded at 1032 (offset -14 lines).
Hunk #6 FAILED at 1078.
Hunk #7 succeeded at 1083 (offset -18 lines).
Hunk #9 FAILED at 1187.
Hunk #10 succeeded at 1625 (offset -22 lines).
2 out of 10 hunks FAILED -- saving rejects to file src/cairo-ft-font.c.rej
==> ERROR: Build Failed.  Aborting...

Anyone have a fix already?

same here... any ideas of why this happens?


Gnu/Linux User on Arch(x86_64)

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#18 2007-06-13 07:45:31

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Oh, it compiled fine for me yesterday, but I've just noticed PLD devs released new version of the patch to make it compile with new cairo (which has been reverted from Arch because of some OpenOffice problems). The solution is to add auto-th-cairo-1_4_6-1 tag request to cvs command in my PKGBUILD. I'm at work now, so I'll take care of it when I come home.

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#19 2007-06-13 15:57:09

paramthegreat
Member
Registered: 2006-06-27
Posts: 38

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

I just checked these packages out yesterday. I have also tried the *cleartype packages. Atleast on my lcd, the *cleartype text looked better but had a certain fuzziness that would cause me headaches after a whole day of working on them. On the other hand, the *lcd packages give a smoother but crisp font rendering.

Just my 2 cents smile

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#20 2007-06-13 16:12:35

dante
Member
Registered: 2007-06-08
Posts: 38

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Why are there only 2 votes in AUR mad

dante


"Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch' entrate"
- Laßt jede Hoffnung hinter euch, ihr, die ihr eintretet -

Dante Alighieri

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#21 2007-06-13 16:25:08

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Okay, I've just fixed PKGBUILD.

paramthegreat, I couldn't find any info about patches included in *-cleartype. Even if they are better, there is no one to maintain them anymore.

(To be honest, *-lcd patches also don't seem to be maintained, but there are at least some developers, who try to keep them working with latest cairo and libxft.)

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#22 2007-06-15 15:56:07

Neuro
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 352

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

dante wrote:

Why are there only 2 votes in AUR mad

dante

Just voted.
For the lazy:
http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?d … 1&ID=11518
http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?d … 1&ID=11518

Piotr: dobra robota!

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#23 2007-06-15 16:56:28

pkraw
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 35

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Neuro wrote:

Piotr: dobra robota!

Thanks, but I'm just packaging it wink.

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#24 2007-06-17 22:19:45

cromo
Member
From: Czestochowa, Poland
Registered: 2006-09-20
Posts: 87

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

Huge change here for better, I love it! Thanks pkraw, I probably wouldn't have known about these patches if you haven't shown them to us. Do you have any details on legal status of these patches? As far as I remember in most countries in Europe the subpixel rendering technique is not patented by Adobe, therefore the patches could actually be legally used here. Still, I don't know which techniques/patents do these patches use.

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#25 2007-06-17 22:23:55

chaosgeisterchen
Member
From: Kefermarkt, Upper Austria
Registered: 2006-11-20
Posts: 550

Re: Improved subpixel font rendering

I did not know that software patents apply to Europe as well.

Well, they do, but only if patented in Europe as well.

Which it actually is.

Last edited by chaosgeisterchen (2007-06-17 22:27:17)


celestary
Intel Core2Duo E6300 @ 1.86 GHz
kernel26
KDEmod current repository

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