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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
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A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
There are open fonts that are very highly-regarded by typographers (the SIL fonts, for example), but they have to fight against some prejudice from people who conflate "free" which "cheapo."
Posted Jun 20, 2012 15:19 UTC (Wed) by hmh (subscriber, #3838)
Professional commercial fonts do take high pains to get these right as a rule. The "free" ones you find scattered all over the web only do very rarely, AFAIK (which *does* mean the font deserves the low quality moniker, it will look awful at low DPIs and small sizes). IMHO, that stereotype is also attributed to the open fonts, be it deserved or not.
Posted Jun 21, 2012 11:20 UTC (Thu) by alankila (subscriber, #47141)
There is no hinting of glyph shapes here, just gamma-corrected compositing from sRGB surface to sRGB surface with freetype's light lcd filter to ensure grayness of the composition results. You should be able to see that the default code as a rule produces too dark rendering results. (And the default lcd filter chosen by cairo generates other kind of color fringing at the smallest sizes, but that is separate topic.)
Merely getting the gamma-corrected compositing right should improve results considerably, especially for small sizes where the error made is the greatest, as can be seen on the darkening and color fringing that results.
Posted Jun 21, 2012 18:37 UTC (Thu) by daniel (subscriber, #3181)
Also tangentially, here is a little project I worked on earlier this year, a slightly unusual take on 3D font rendering:
That is Liberation Serif, which I found very pleasant to work with by the way, both for this subdivision modelling and classic low resolution 2D rendering. Sad to hear its not to be updated. The name is great, it would be a shame if that got locked up and died.
Posted Jun 21, 2012 0:18 UTC (Thu) by gdt (subscriber, #6284)
Most of everything is rubbish, it's just more apparent with fonts. Consider that there must be thousands of web servers written by students each year as they learn their craft, but no one would seriously use one in production. They're certainly not all collected together on websites with names like Free Web Servers.
Google Web Fonts were a real step forward, as they trawled through the dross and said "these fonts are good". Moreover since they are "web" fonts the quality of the font on a screen was important.
Linux users don't download software from the web, so why are they looking for fonts on the web? I'd suggest the reason is the complete lack of attention to fonts in distribution's package managers. They don't even do the simplest thing, such as displaying a sample of the font, let alone allowing searching for fonts by their properties.
Posted Jun 28, 2012 10:45 UTC (Thu) by gvy (guest, #11981)
Posted Jun 21, 2012 20:10 UTC (Thu) by daniel (subscriber, #3181)
(Apologizes in advance for the slight jaggies in the near field, which need a higher point size for the nearer glyphs, beyond the scope for this demo.)
This seems like a high quality font to me, including the hinting. In orthogonal, pixel for pixel rendering the effect of hinting is more dramatic of course but I think it improves the quality of even the perspective case. I noticed one odd and most probably undesirable behaviour: the hinting algorithm may move the end point but not the interior control point of a quadratic Bezier hull, resulting in an S-shaped artifact in the smooth outline. This can't be good for rasterizing. I doubt it is an error in my outline generator, but of course it could be, and I am not 100% sure whether the issue comes from the font hints or the hinting engine, but it looks like the latter to me.
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