Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 80403
Fonts not displaying properly
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:49:17 EDT
The fonts don't seem as good quality as 8.0, they seem thin and
scraggly, where as 8.0 was nice and bold'ish and good quality.
I believe the same fonts are in use. It may have to do with aa issues.
This is in gnome. I don't know about kde.
I second that. I could also mention that in Mozilla, I have to zoom into 130%
before I can see any differences between normal text and bold text of the same
kind, namely "Sans".
Font related ugly/pretty issues are generally not XFree86 problems. They
are generally font configuration problems (of which the XFree86 font
configuration has not changed in ages), or are freetype/fontconfig issues.
Freetype hasn't changed since 8.0 yet, however fontconfig has (although
I have no idea if that could have caused any ugly font issues, I've
certainly not seen any anyway).
Keep in mind that legacy X server fonts are being used less and less,
and client side fonts are being used more and more, which means that
ugly font issues tend to be application specific and not XFree86
I'm not sure how exactly to handle a report of "fonts don't look nice"
however. I've Cc'd Owen in case he is aware of any changes or has
some advice to offer.
Perhaps a not-nice-defining screenshot might help visualize this.
I'm seeing this, too.
I'm attaching a couple screenshots to better demonstrate the differences.
(screenshots lifted from some links on the phoebe mailing list - my fonts look
just the same as the ones from these shots)
Created attachment 88923 [details]
This is what fonts looked like in Psyche
Created attachment 88924 [details]
This is what fonts looked like in Psyche
Created attachment 88925 [details]
This is what fonts look like now, in Phoebe
Jens Knutson has good screenshots of the problem. I should mention that I'm
running a radeon 7500 video card with the same resolution. It's possible that
other cards are not effected.
Also, this exact thing happened when I upgraded XFree86 on my rh8 box to a
rawhide version (184.108.40.206-0.20021208.1). When I went back to XFree86 stock for
rh8 the font went back to being "nice". So I am %99.99 sure this is a XFree86 bug.
I think this is because the "slighthint" patch was not applied to Phoebe's Xft.
In Psyche, Xft was a separate package maintained by Owen. In Phoebe,
XFree86-libs has an internal Xft2 library, but the slighthint patch was not
applied AFAIK. Just take Owen's Xft-2.1 SRPM and apply
Xft-1.9.1.020626.1517-slighthint.patch (and probably
Xft-1.9.1.020811.1151-embeddedbitmap.patch) to XFree86; that would probably do
the trick. :-)
Note that the current situation with Psyche/Phoebe's
FreeType-2.1.2-with-slighthint-patch is a bit precarious. (Hmm... perhaps
"precarious" is too strong a word.) FreeType's upstream author David Turner has
stated that Psyche's variation of FreeType-2.1.2 with slighthint uses deprecated
APIs, and indeed, we see that Psyche and Phoebe's FreeType and dependents (Xft,
etc.) carry corresponding slighthint patches. This is less than ideal since it
departs from upstream development. On the other hand, this may be a necessary
(and hopefully temporary) measure to keep the fonts looking their best so that
users won't complain. ;-)
What I would prefer personally, would be for any changes that are needed
to be made directly by whatever upstream project and us use that, rather
than having special Red Hacks(TM). The further we diverge from upstream
freetype/XFree86 on stuff like this, the more we have to maintain ourselves,
and it also seems the more projects and people we tend to annoy.
Owen, should I be applying the Xft patches mentioned above? And if so,
have they been submitted upstream yet?
Personally I would prefer if fonts are ugly at all for any reason for anyone
at all, that they are ugly using stock upstream sources, to avoid Blame
Red Hat Syndrome from occuring in the future.
I am seing this as well - fonts are extremely ugly for me - both in Mozilla and
the default konsole fonts. Note that I also upgraded 8.0 to Phoebe and I also
have Radeon 7500 - some of that may be a coincidence, but may be not.
In Mozilla case, I have BuildID 2002123101 compiled with Xft support and I used
the same exact binaries under 8.0 and Phoebe, so it's easy for me to see the
I'll try to attach some screenshots.
Created attachment 89148 [details]
Fonts in konsole when using "Preferences -> Font -> Medium".
As I understand, this is the font that used to be "Monospace" (although the
"Monospace" is no longer available in font picker, so it might be anything
The current Rawhide freetype RPM (freetype-2.1.3-3) appears to fix this.
Created attachment 89149 [details]
Fonts in konsole when using "Preferences -> Font -> Medium", under freetype-2.1.3-3
I've upgraded to freetype-2.1.3-3. Definitely much better, altough some fonts
are still ugly. There still does not appear to be any fully usable font for
konsole (if you need ASCII+cyrillics) - see also bug 68476.
Closing as resolved in RAWHIDE from 2 comments back.