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bugsrep
27th December 2008, 06:16 AM
This thread is for those who prefer Windows fonts to native Fedora fonts.

I think this is a very important issue even though it is "just about fonts". My eyes got really tired after a few days working with Fedora. I hope the community and RedHat finds some good solution that does not violate the patents.

First I installed Windows fonts from my Windows XP machine using KDE System Settins -> Font Installer -> Add...

On the Internet I read the the libfreetype library is responsible for rendering TrueType fonts. In Fedora this library is compiled with bytecode_interpreter_flag = false. Otherwise it would violate the Apple patent. Because of this Windows fonts do not look good at all. I tried three methods of turning this flag on.

1) yum install freetype-freeworld. I read that this is libfreetype compiled with bytecode_interpreter_flag = true. It helped to render Windows fonts properly only in Firefox and Thunderbird. So, I uninstalled this library.

2) I read Digo's post about http://www.bevenhall.se/jim/fedora-cleartype and ftp://brebs.me.uk/fedora/10. However, I did only two things: I downloaded freetype-2.3.7-11.fc10.i386.rpm from the ftp because it had a later date; I ran the command 'rpm -Uvh --replacepkgs --force freetype-2.3.7-11.fc10.i386.rpm'. After restarting KDE fonts looked like in Windows.

3) I downloaded the latest stable sources from the developer website http://nongnu.askapache.com/freetype/freetype-2.3.7.tar.bz2. After unpacking the sources one can read freetype-2.3.7/docs/TRUETYPE. They tell how to compile the library with the bytecode_interpreter_flag on. After compiling the library with this flag, I should have installed it by 'make install' but I figured copying objs/.libs/libfreetype.so.6.3.18 to /usr/lib/ and overwriting the Fedora file worked.

I use Tahoma 9, so I turned off anti-aliasing for fonts 0-9 pt.

So, methods 2 and 3 worked for most of KDE, Firefox and Thundebird. However, OpenOffice, qt-demo still show bad looking fonts.

1) I prefer method 1 but it did not work.
2) Method 2 is simple but not reproducible. Will it be available in 1/2 year? I do not like snapshots that can quickly become obsolete.
3) Compiling is reproducible. I do not like that it is not an rpm solution. Besides, the size of the library is 3 times the size of the original Fedora library and method 2 library. I do not know what it means, but I KDE works fine.

Is there a plug&play solution?

adrianx
27th December 2008, 10:59 AM
This is what fonts look like on my machine. The reason I'm posting this, is because I have read quite a few threads where people say that Fedora fonts are ugly. Does it have something to do with resolution or hardware, or are these fonts just plain ugly and I have very bad taste? :D Just wondering.
http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/8199/screenshotnu3.png
Edit: I've thrown in a few MS fonts, but I use the standard freetype engine.

Absurd
27th December 2008, 11:40 AM
Is there a plug&play solution?

Check out small russian tigro repository - you can find patched freetype there.

Absurd
27th December 2008, 11:50 AM
This is what fonts look like on my machine. The reason I'm posting this, is because I have read quite a few threads where people say that Fedora fonts are ugly. Does it have something to do with resolution or hardware, or are these fonts just plain ugly and I have very bad taste? :D Just wondering.

Latin fonts may look acceptible, but Cyrilic(Russian for example) ones without BC interpreter looks plain ugly IMHO.

bugsrep
27th December 2008, 05:08 PM
To adrianx: the fonts you have posted look good because the are big. A typical Windows fonts have sizes 8-10 at 96 dpi. Try to set KDE fonts to 8 and compare it to Windows XP. I do not like Vista default fonts. If you use a magnifier, you will see that your letters have black and grey pixels. Default Windows fonts have only black pixels.
In the end, GNU/Linux is about a choice, right?

bugsrep
27th December 2008, 05:19 PM
To Absurd:
Since you did not post a link I tried to google "Russian tigro repository":

I do not know what you meant but I found these two:
http://www.gagme.com/greg/linux/
http://www.tedoralinux.ru/en/releasenotes.php

This is exactly what I am talking about! These sites are outdated. I am using Fedora 10. Their solutions might work. What if they loose interest in maintaining it?

I believe the solution has to be in a place, which everybody knows about. It should be part of the system.

It would be nice if "yum installed freetype-freeworld" just worked. Who makes it? I do not understand why it failed. I just changed one #define, compiled and that is all!

adrianx
27th December 2008, 06:27 PM
To adrianx: the fonts you have posted look good because the are big. A typical Windows fonts have sizes 8-10 at 96 dpi. Try to set KDE fonts to 8 and compare it to Windows XP. I do not like Vista default fonts. If you use a magnifier, you will see that your letters have black and grey pixels. Default Windows fonts have only black pixels.
In the end, GNU/Linux is about a choice, right?
Yes, I agree that it is about choice and I know that there are many people who don't like anti-aliased fonts. Just remember that it is impossible to draw a perfectly round circle with square pixels alone. You need some kind of optical illusion to accomplish that. That's where anti-aliasing comes in.
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/9246/screenshotbl5.png

sideways
27th December 2008, 08:14 PM
I much prefer anti-aliased fonts, Windows ClearType used to be superior to Fedora's default fonts but since at least F8 I've preferred Fedora default fonts. Here's a comparison of Internet Explorer 6 (on the bottom) rendering with ClearType in WInXP and Fedora 10 X86_64 Firefox v3.0.5 (on the top) (Note I ran IE6 in VirtualBox seamless mode to get a closer comparison)

http://www.jbg.f2s.com/fonts2.png

sideways
6th January 2009, 07:29 PM
I noticed my font comparison pic doesn't look right on certain displays, I think it's firefox resizing the image. To see the true comparison, right-click on the pic and select 'View image', then click to zoom to 100% view.

I should have posted the standard (unaliased) window fonts too, unfortunately it's too late to get the same wikipedia page now, so I'll have to replace the original pic, I'll do it later.