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#1 2004-07-06 03:52:47

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

fonts: how does gnome do it???

these screens are from the same laptop, same XFree86config (or xorg.conf, i think), same fonts.conf/local.conf, same browser -- same everything -- except one is in gnome and one in xfce4:

gnome:
moz_gnome.png


xfce4:
moz_xfce4.png

the gnome fonts are full and legible, while the xfce4 fonts are all spindly and lame. it's really p!ssing me off. :x

the question is, how to get fonts like in the gnome shot in xfce4? i had them in slack 9 and 9.1 (and really got used to them -- way nicer than windows), but in 10 they are complete sh!t and in arch only a little better. i've tried just about everything i could find here, but nothing helps.

adding antialiasing to the local.conf has absolutely no effect. the only change that seems to do anything is turning off the hinting in the xfce4 xinitrc file, which darkens the fonts to a pretty good level, but makes them ragged and uneven (one part of the character fat, one thin, etc.)

i must be missing something somewhere. does anyone have any insight into this perpetual problem? i see so many font posts on the board, it really would be good for arch to fix this once and for all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
p.s. i found this in a ~/.gconf file called %gconf.xml in a font_settings subdirectory -- it looked very promising but didn't work when i copied it to /etc/fonts/local.conf. maybe the settings would work if the syntax were changed?

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<gconf>
        <entry name="hinting" mtime="1089077254" type="string">
                <stringvalue>medium</stringvalue>
        </entry>
        <entry name="antialiasing" mtime="1089077254" type="string">
                <stringvalue>grayscale</stringvalue>
        </entry>
</gconf>

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#2 2004-07-06 11:19:37

xerxes2
Member
From: Malmoe, Sweden
Registered: 2004-04-23
Posts: 1,249
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???


arch + gentoo + initng + python = enlisy

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#3 2004-07-06 16:54:47

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

i only wish it were that easy. :cry: i've been through that thread as well as two dozen others and countless web pages, but nothing seems to improve the xfce4 fonts.

is the arch version compiled with options to support xft/antialiasing in arch? i notice the fonts look okay once they're bolded, but there still seems to be no antialias (and why would anyone turn AA off? i LIKE the anti-aliasing. that thin, spindly look drives me nuts).

to clarify some points in regard to the link:

1. i'm using the same monitor as always, a samsung 172t 17" LCD;
2. 96 DPI is the correct pitch according to xdpyinfo |grep resolution (and is the same in gnome anyway);
3. all ~/.xinitrc settings are obviously the same for gnome and xfce4 (and have zero effect);
4. as i said, and as skoal also mentioned, changing the hinting value does absolutely nothing. only turning it on or off seems to make a difference, as you can see here:

Xft.hinting: 0
no_hinting_toolbar.png

you can see it especially on the alt-underlined characters in the menu, and in most of the upper-case, in fact. but even in normal text it's really bad:
body text ugliness here.


if i could get that weight without the uneven fuzziness it would be great. but so far i can't find the file or configuration option to control that.

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#4 2004-07-06 17:17:58

dpb
Member
From: Cyperspace?
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 231

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:

(and why would anyone turn AA off? i LIKE the anti-aliasing. that thin, spindly look drives me nuts).

IMHO the anti-aliased fonts look unclear and too large. The normal looks clear and just the right size... I've never understood why people like AA... Are my eyes seeing things differently? :? Maybe I'm some kinda mutant.  roll

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#5 2004-07-06 20:45:11

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

dpb wrote:
slackhack wrote:

(and why would anyone turn AA off? i LIKE the anti-aliasing. that thin, spindly look drives me nuts).

IMHO the anti-aliased fonts look unclear and too large. The normal looks clear and just the right size... I've never understood why people like AA... Are my eyes seeing things differently? :? Maybe I'm some kinda mutant.  roll

well, i did ask. tongue no, i don't think you're a mutant -- if the archives here are any indication, most people seem to prefer the non-antialised look. but i guess it's safe to say that if you were forced to use only anti-aliased fonts, you wouldn't like it much either, am i right? tongue

i prefer the gnome look above, maybe because that's what i got used to, but also because in comparison i find the others borderline unusable. also, one of the first things i do in XP is set the fonts to "clear-type," which gives a similar anti-aliasing effect. i just think they look better and are more readable that way, with the AA.

but the question remains, why can't xfce4 render fonts that way anymore? it used to be able to, in slack 9 and 9.1, but not in slack 10 or arch. maybe this is a question for the xfce4 people?

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#6 2004-07-06 21:26:04

xerxes2
Member
From: Malmoe, Sweden
Registered: 2004-04-23
Posts: 1,249
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

i don't have xfce4 around at the moment but there should be a setttings manager or something similar if you don't fix it manually. I'm not sure though.  :?


arch + gentoo + initng + python = enlisy

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#7 2004-07-06 21:41:58

i3839
Member
Registered: 2004-02-04
Posts: 1,185

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

I'm pretty sure the fonts in xfce4 are also anti-aliassed, looking at your screenshot. Only difference I see between your Gnome and xfce fonts is that the Gnome fonts are just bigger, nothing else. On my resolution and monitor the xfce fonts look much better than the way too big fat Gnome fonts.

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#8 2004-07-06 21:54:46

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

i3839 wrote:

I'm pretty sure the fonts in xfce4 are also anti-aliassed, looking at your screenshot. Only difference I see between your Gnome and xfce fonts is that the Gnome fonts are just bigger, nothing else. On my resolution and monitor the xfce fonts look much better than the way too big fat Gnome fonts.

so in other words, you have no answer either. tongue

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#9 2004-07-06 21:58:22

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

It's hard to tell, but I'd say the XFCE fonts are aliased too. That means you need to figure out how to increase the font size, not how to alias/unalias the fonts.  It would be a start, at any rate.

I've never used XFCE, so I have no idea how it works. Perhaps you should try ion...  I never notice my fonts...

Dusty

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#10 2004-07-06 22:05:07

linfocito
Member
From: Gurupi - TO, Brasil
Registered: 2003-05-18
Posts: 82

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

I´m not sure, and maybe being wrong and helpless, but, I think the problem could be in the way each one (gnome and xfce4) configures GTK.


"...archoholism is a hard disease to cure..."
Archlinux Brasil

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#11 2004-07-06 22:09:08

dp
Member
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,366
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

i have fonts the same size in gnome and xfce4 .... because i told /etc/fonts/local.conf what resolution is my screen:

<?xml version="1.0"?> 
 <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd"> 
 <!-- /etc/fonts.conf file to configure system font access --> 
 <fontconfig> 
         <match target="font"> 
            <edit name="antialias" mode="assign"><bool>true</bool></edit> 
             
       <edit name="hinting" mode="assign"><bool>false</bool></edit> 
     
         </match> 
         <match target="pattern"> 
                 <edit name="dpi" mode="assign"><double>132</double></edit> 
         </match> 
         <!--  Dongs  --> 
 
         <alias> 
                 <family>serif</family> 
                 <prefer> 
                         <family>Bitstream Vera Serif</family> 
                 </prefer> 
         </alias> 
         <alias> 
                 <family>sans-serif</family> 
                 <prefer> 
                         <family>Bitstream Vera Sans</family> 
                 </prefer> 
         </alias> 
         <alias> 
                 <family>monospace</family> 
                 <prefer> 
                         <family>Bitstream Vera Sans Mono</family> 
                 </prefer> 
         </alias> 
         
 <dir>/usr/local/share/fonts</dir>
 <dir>/usr/share/fonts</dir>
 <dir>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts</dir>
 </fontconfig>


important line:

<edit name="dpi" mode="assign"><double>132</double></edit> 

The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#12 2004-07-06 22:27:14

dp
Member
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,366
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

dont believe me?

see here:

xfce4
xfceFonts.jpg

gnome
gnomeFonts.jpg


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#13 2004-07-06 23:04:26

i3839
Member
Registered: 2004-02-04
Posts: 1,185

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:

so in other words, you have no answer either. tongue

In other words, my answer was that all you needed to do to get the same fonts is to make them the same size. I don't know how to do that in either Gnome, xfce, GTK or X, so I don't have a sollution. dp seems to know more though..

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#14 2004-07-06 23:21:46

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

it's changing the size, but not the quality. at normal size, i'm still getting the "no hinting" uneven effect. it definitely doesn't look as good as yours. i'll keep playing around with it, but i might just have to resign myself to the spindly fonts.  sad

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#15 2004-07-07 08:59:05

dp
Member
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,366
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:

it's changing the size, but not the quality. at normal size, i'm still getting the "no hinting" uneven effect. it definitely doesn't look as good as yours. i'll keep playing around with it, but i might just have to resign myself to the spindly fonts.  sad

it's not the size to change but the resolution!!

same font-size in settings of xfce4 and gnome must lead to also the same size you see on your screen, if the resolution of your display is set up in fonts/local.conf, as it is read before trying to render any fonts


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#16 2004-07-07 09:02:20

dpb
Member
From: Cyperspace?
Registered: 2004-04-11
Posts: 231

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:

well, i did ask. tongue no, i don't think you're a mutant

damn... and I wanted to be a mutant so much...  :shock:

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#17 2004-07-07 15:36:54

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

actually with all the pollution and radiation in the world we're all getting DNA/mDNA damage and becoming mutants, but i didn't think you wanted to hear that. tongue

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#18 2004-07-07 16:11:43

dp
Member
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,366
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:

actually with all the pollution and radiation in the world we're all getting DNA/mDNA damage and becoming mutants, ...

individuums becoming a mutant is a natural process. it is also vital for a healthy genome over a population, as it allows selection to choose between different options --- being somatic copies of each other, this world can be really boring and the stability of life would be really low

(sorry, i couldn't resist to make a comment on this one - as i study bio)


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#19 2004-07-07 16:42:24

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

that's all very true smile , but i think you're forgetting one important point: the millions of tons of chemical pollution of the kinds we have now being dumped into the environment every year is not a natural process. wink (unless we count human ignorance tongue)

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#20 2004-07-07 16:49:11

dp
Member
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,366
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:

that's all very true smile , but i think you're forgetting one important point: the millions of tons of chemical pollution of the kinds we have now being dumped into the environment every year is not a natural process. wink (unless we count human ignorance tongue)

that's very true, if you see it from the "human being"-point of view (of course you must be a human be3ing with comon sense to have such a view) ... but if you look at it more globally, it's totally natural: we, the bad human beings, are the first species on this planet, the only species, known to destroy it's own environement --- so it's a natural process (done by a very strange species with not much chance of survival for long (with this attitude))


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#21 2004-07-07 16:57:21

sweiss
Member
Registered: 2004-02-16
Posts: 635

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

The fonts in your Gnome are anti-aliased but no hinting is enabled. On XFce, both are enabled. This is why XFce's fonts look more crisp. I personally like it this way, as for what you can do with it, you can wait for XFce 4.2 (or get it from CVS) which has the option of choosing the font effects.

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#22 2004-07-07 16:58:44

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

dp wrote:

that's very true, if you see it from the "human being"-point of view (of course you must be a human be3ing with comon sense to have such a view) ... but if you look at it more globally, it's totally natural: we, the bad human beings, are the first species on this planet, the only species, known to destroy it's own environement --- so it's a natural process (done by a very strange species with not much chance of survival for long (with this attitude))

yes, i agree -- your logic is inescapable. big_smile it's only too bad the humans are potentially taking everything else along with them.

while we are still here, however, i want good fonts! tongue

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#23 2004-07-07 17:07:16

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

sweiss wrote:

The fonts in your Gnome are anti-aliased but no hinting is enabled. On XFce, both are enabled. This is why XFce's fonts look more crisp. I personally like it this way, as for what you can do with it, you can wait for XFce 4.2 (or get it from CVS) which has the option of choosing the font effects.

then how come i had the gnome-looking fonts in XFCE 3.99-4.0.x? and with just default settings on the same hardware, with both XFree86 4.3 and 4.4, and even basically the same identical XF86Config file?

edit: no, i believe it is some difference with how XFCE4 is using the newer X libraries, fontcong, gtk2, etc. (or whatever they might be, i know very little about those inner workings). when i turn the AA off in XFCE, it's totally horrible, the fonts are actually broken in places. so it seems they're just not being rendered quite fat enough for some reason (on my hardware, at least). and it's really remarkable how much of a difference a small amount makes. :shock:

i guess i will run it past the XFCE4 people, or else just live with it for now. thanks for all the assistance everyone!

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#24 2004-07-07 23:53:11

dp
Member
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,366
Website

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

slackhack wrote:
dp wrote:

that's very true, if you see it from the "human being"-point of view (of course you must be a human be3ing with comon sense to have such a view) ... but if you look at it more globally, it's totally natural: we, the bad human beings, are the first species on this planet, the only species, known to destroy it's own environement --- so it's a natural process (done by a very strange species with not much chance of survival for long (with this attitude))

yes, i agree -- your logic is inescapable. big_smile it's only too bad the humans are potentially taking everything else along with them.

i do not believe that we are able to destroy the whole world and the whole biosphere on it (this is not to be understood as a test on bravery/power of human beings!!): quite all systems in biology are self-regulating (stable or unstable balance does not matter in nature - it simply works :-) ), so if we would manage do destroy out whole civilisation and culture, our pan-populations of human beings, we would not be able to destroy all DNA or all protein on this planet, and life would start evolving from this very basical step to more complex stages again (=evolution==try+error --- maybe we are simply a wrong branch in the whole algorithm)

slackhack wrote:

while we are still here, however, i want good fonts! tongue

how does your /etc/fonts/local.conf look like? see at mine and compare --- especially make sure you set the resolution right (in dots per inch --- in doubt, measure your monitor)

additionally make sure in   /etc/X11/XF86Config , you have in section "Monitor" the DisplaySize set right (in mm)

Section "Monitor"
  Option       "CalcAlgorithm" "CheckDesktopGeometry"
  DisplaySize  305 230
...

as this is also used to calculate the absolute size of fonts in some libs

good luck


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#25 2004-07-09 17:24:03

slackhack
Member
Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: fonts: how does gnome do it???

i think i am getting one step closer, but i still can't quite get it. in gnome i found the "gconf-editor," and by tweaking the settings i mentioned earlier in ~/.gconf/desktop/gnome/font_rendering, i can turn off the good-looking gnome fonts and make them look like the xfce4 fonts by changing the antialiasing setting from "greyscale" to "rgba." so it seems that if there would be a way to tell xfce4 to use greyscale instead of rgba antialising, that could be the solution.

the file gconf uses is just a simple xml file, but i don't know xml, so i guess will have to learn about it this weekend to see how to translate that option into the /etc/local.conf. i tried a bunch of different things just guessing, but they didn't work. otherwise, i guess xfce4 would have to be built linked somehow to gconf, but i don't even know if that's possible or how one would go about something like that. one of the gconf doc pages says:

GConf...can be used with plain GTK+, Xlib, KDE, or even text mode applications as well

so theoretically i guess it could work. or maybe it's a just a matter of somehow pointing gconf at xfce?

another glitch to throw in the mix, however, is that tweaking the gconf only works in slackware, not arch! so to get good fonts in arch/xfce4, this apparently is going to be a long process which in the end might not even be possible. i guess i could just use slack 10 with gnome, <ugh> but i really don't want to have to use gnome! help! tongue j/k

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