Re: gnome and GDK_USE_XFT

Allin Cottrell <cottrell wfu edu> writes:

> I've been experimenting with gnome 2.0 with and without GDK_USE_XFT
> defined.  I'm wondering if there's any way to get the best of both
> worlds.
> I have a strong preference for bitmap fonts (well optimized ones, as
> supplied with XFree for Helvetica, e.g.) in the everyday reading range
> of, say, 8 to 11 point.  But it's nice to have anti-aliasing for
> larger fonts, and perhaps tiny ones too.
> If I leave GDK_USE_XFT undefined I can access the traditional bitmap
> fonts OK, but of course get no anti-aliasing.
> With GDK_USE_XFT defined, I know how to turn off anti-aliasing for a
> specified range of font sizes (in XftConfig), but in that case
> gnome/GTK offers me non-anti-aliased (aliased?) versions of the
> outline fonts -- which do not look good at all -- and the traditional
> optimized X bitmaps are not on the menu.
> Is it impossible for GTK to use the optimized bitmaps when in XFT
> mode?

Someone could create a TTF font that consisted only of the embedded
bitmaps with no outlines, and then that could be used with Xft. You
could, I suppose, even create a font that with Nimbus Sans outlines
and the Helvetica bitmaps, but that could get shaky legally.

(Xft2 can also handle pcf fonts, but there is a fair bit of
inefficiency there ... TTF with embedded bitmaps is almost certainly a
better format choice.)

I wrote the code to be able to handle mixed core and Xft fonts at one
point, but decided it was a bad idea before ever turning it on.... all
the awfulness of the core X font API would appear and contaminate the
nice Xft environment. (Look at how confusing Qt font dialogs are by
default, and you'll see what I mean.)


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