[OpenJDK 2D-Dev] Font question

Phil Race Phil.Race at Sun.COM
Thu Apr 17 20:02:22 UTC 2008

Roman Kennke wrote:
> Hi Igor,
>> What style of font is it? Is it plain or bold?
> I think the font itself is plain. I guess Swing tries to have a bold
> one. I tried using FreeSansBold.ttf instead, and it looks similar
> crappy, only bolder ;-)
>> How prototype looks on your system running your clean openjdk build?
> You mean the default rendering pipeline? Looks like this:
> http://kennke.org/~roman/swingdemo.png

Interesting. I happen to have lying around two builds of OpenJDK
on my Solaris 10 SPARC box. One of which has freetype compiled to use
hinting, the other isn't. I did this a while ago for comparison.

What I see is for the one of these builds the FreeSans Bold looks crappy,
on the other it looks reasonable, or at least less crappy. Interestingly
its the hinted one that looks crappy. Now unless I have my builds
named wrongly, I'd guess that the FreeSans bold fonts aren't
bytecode hinted much, if at all.

And FWIW I just installed it on Windows and its just as bad
in B&W there too in windows native apps. So its the font alright.

The auto-hinting is therefore better off than no bytecode hinting.
Apparently this font is intended to be used anti-aliased and
won't fare well in a world where everyone expects bytecode
hinting in fonts.


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