Beta test Bitstream Vera fonts available.
Alan.Kay at squeakland.org
Wed Feb 26 13:35:47 UTC 2003
This is neat, Jim!
At 8:15 PM -0800 2/25/03, <Jim.Gettys at hp.com> wrote:
> > Sender: squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org
>> From: "Andreas Raab" <andreas.raab at gmx.de>
>> Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 23:15:48 +0100
>> To: "'The general-purpose Squeak developers list'"
>> <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
>> Subject: RE: Beta test Bitstream Vera fonts available.
>> Thanks. I've tried them out but the quality in small sizes is not overly
>> convincing. I've attached a small picture that shows Vera Sans in different
>> sizes (VeraSansStrike.gif). Since the glyphs were generated using Squeak (w/
>> font plugin) I cannot judge the kerning (Squeak doesn't use the kerning
>> pairs currently) but some of glyphs look problematic - for example, watch
>> the "O" in line 1 and 3, the "b" in Line 2, the "Ã¶" (o-umlaut) and question
>> marks in line 4 the "N" in lines 5 and 6. The other fonts included look
>> similar in quality; generally good fonts but somewhat poor at small sizes.
>> I've also tried with Yoshiki's TTF support and it looks better, yet at small
>> sizes it is too washed out (see VeraSansTTF.gif). So it seems that while
>> these fonts are nice they aren't really as great in small sizes.
>> BTW, someone wrote that these fonts are hinted - is this certain?! From the
>> looks of it I see nothing that seems to go beyound regular drop-out support
>> but maybe Windows (aka: the font plugin) is screwing me. I'd like to see if
>> someone on a different platform can get "better results" than what I am
>There are no delta hints in Vera: they will not generate good bitmaps at
>small sizes. They are intended for use primarily anti-aliased as we
>now do on Linux; antialiased, they do very well indeed at small sizes.
>Prima, from which Vera was derived, did have delta hints,
>but due to the procedure used to generate them, had bad results when
>imaged anti-aliased (alot of strokes went to zero width).
>(Bitstream has since changed how they generate
>their delta hints). But Vera is otherwise nicely hinted...
>I use Vera very nicely on my iPAQ handheld at 6 pixels size :-)....
>For some samples of where things are at using all open source technology,
>see: http://zap.crl.dec.com/Screenshot-4.png and
>http://zap.crl.dec.com/Screenshot3.png. This is best looked at on
>a flat panel with typical horizontal rgb subpixel order. Most things
>on those two shots are in one face of Vera or another....
>One is of my desktop (yes, I do have MS Office installed on my Linux machine);
>the other is primarily a waterfall display app of one of the fonts.
>There will be some additional work done on hinting over the next few weeks.
>You can see in the waterfall display a few characters need some additional
>TLC, as also you observed...
>Here's the scoop:
>Xft2 use Freetype for the basic rasterization; but that is just the start.
>Xft2 adjusts the hinting to keep things on pixel boundaries much more than
>Microsoft Cleartype does (which appears to at most adjust to subpixel
>bounadaries); we believe this is better, and I think the
>above shot of my desktop bears this out. The resulting glyphs are imaged
>at 3 times the horizontal or vertical resolution (depending on flatpanel
>subpixel order and orientation), and the results used to form a glyph which
>is alpha composited to the screen. This process Keith Packard calls subpixel
>decimation. So we end up a bit less faithful to the font outlines, but
>less fuzzy than Cleartype (which is sharper than not doing subpixel stuff
>is in the first place).
>Xft2 will either use the X render extension for the alpha compositing,
>or will go down to pixels, alpha composite them to pixels extracted
>from the screen, and shove the pixels back to the screen if render isn't
>present. All the code is open source (MIT license).
> - Jim
>Cambridge Research Laboratory
>HP Labs, Hewlett-Packard Company
>Jim.Gettys at hp.com
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