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Re: If it ain't broke, don't fix it and stop worrying about updates

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  • thad_floryan
    ... Hi Ed, Though the identical versions of Firefox for Linux and Windows have a lot of differences, I can find nothing re: font aliasing in either of the
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 12, 2013
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      --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, ed wrote:
      >
      > On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 02:52:35AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
      > [...]
      > > Here are the display tests I ran 13-OCT-2012 using the latest
      > > Firefox for each platform on that date -- it should be obvious
      > > what the issues with the Linux Firefox are (mostly text in
      > > buttons is hosed):
      > >
      > > http://thadlabs.com/PIX/home_page_1_Linux.png UNacceptable
      > > http://thadlabs.com/PIX/home_page_1_Windows.jpg perfect
      >
      > What are the tests like when you turn off font aliasing?

      Hi Ed,

      Though the "identical" versions of Firefox for Linux and Windows have
      a lot of differences, I can find nothing re: "font aliasing" in
      either of the two.

      Or are you referring to some kind of system-wide font aliasing?

      I did find this page:

      http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2428091

      but as you can see, disabling aliasing creates horrible fonts, and I
      fail to see how aliasing per se is causing the problem on all my
      Linux systems (except Red Hat 9 with a version 3 Firefox -- I cannot
      install 16.0.2 on that platform).

      > To be honest, the linux firefox tests are far more legible than the
      > windows jagged-and-scrunched up buttons. My guess is that the
      > browser isn't able to accurately predict how much room the words
      > require.

      Hmmm. Then that would be yet another difference between the so-called
      "identical" versions 16.0.2 for Linux and Firefox.

      I have compared every possible option in the normal "option" and in
      the advanced settings and they are identical for both the Linux and
      Windows versions but the resultant display is clearly very different.

      I'm a bit puzzled by your comment "windows jagged-and-scrunched up
      butttons". To my eye they look perfect and note also I'm always the
      person asked to judge astronomical photo contents due to my color
      perception (better than 99% of most peoples') and acuity (to detect
      fringing, elongation, etc.) -- in other words, I have much better than
      average eyesight though I am nearsighted and wear glasses.

      > This may be a result of the font smoothing, can be turned off with
      > the likes of the appearance settings program.

      Any idea what a/the name is of such a program? I find nothing doing
      many searches both on the systems and via Google.

      > Would be worth seeing if that helps to cure the overflow error.

      As best I can tell, the overflow error is due to the fonts being
      rendered larger on Linux than they should be despite the identical
      settings for both the Linux and Windows versions of Firefox. Because
      of that I've relegated all my browsing to just my Windows systems
      since I've spent weeks trying to solve the problem and cannot afford
      to spend any more time.

      I have 1000s of things on my TO-DO list and since I nearly always have
      both a Linux and a Windows system up and running it's no hassle to use
      the Windows system for browsing.

      I'm willing to spend a wee bit more time on this if anyone has some
      good suggestions to try but it looks to me that given how much better
      (from my point of view) the Windows Firefox is than the Linux one at the same version level this is going to be disappointing.

      I almost forgot: there's an identical "type" of page with buttons here

      http://thadlabs.com/NEWS.htm

      which looks perfect (to me) using a Windows Firefox yet it has the
      Firefox problems on any of my Linux systems. It's really simple HTML
      and this eliminates the source of the problem being "local" files on
      my systems since the above 'NEWS' URL is served by Apache on FreeBSD;
      that page also passes 100% the W3C validator -- click the button at
      the lower left corner of the page labelled [W3C/HTML 4.01] to initiate
      the test and see the results.

      I'm really now wondering if Firefox for Linux/MacOS X/Windows has the
      same code base; everything I'm seeing suggests it's not which would
      explain a lot of other gotchas I've experienced.

      Thad
    • ed
      ... XFCE controls the GTK rendering settings in xfce4-appearance-settings. ... In order to do the
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 12, 2013
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        On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:38:05AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
        > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, ed wrote:
        > >
        > > On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 02:52:35AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
        > > [...]
        > > > Here are the display tests I ran 13-OCT-2012 using the latest
        > > > Firefox for each platform on that date -- it should be obvious
        > > > what the issues with the Linux Firefox are (mostly text in
        > > > buttons is hosed):
        > > >
        > > > http://thadlabs.com/PIX/home_page_1_Linux.png UNacceptable
        > > > http://thadlabs.com/PIX/home_page_1_Windows.jpg perfect
        > >
        > > What are the tests like when you turn off font aliasing?
        >
        > Hi Ed,
        >
        > Though the "identical" versions of Firefox for Linux and Windows have
        > a lot of differences, I can find nothing re: "font aliasing" in
        > either of the two.
        >
        > Or are you referring to some kind of system-wide font aliasing?

        XFCE controls the GTK rendering settings in xfce4-appearance-settings.

        <http://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-settings/appearance>

        > I did find this page:
        >
        > http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2428091
        >
        > but as you can see, disabling aliasing creates horrible fonts, and I
        > fail to see how aliasing per se is causing the problem on all my
        > Linux systems (except Red Hat 9 with a version 3 Firefox -- I cannot
        > install 16.0.2 on that platform).

        In order to do the aliasing more pixels are required so words take up
        more room on the buttons. For hinting, I believe that's sub-pixel, so
        words may not require more room, but anti-aliasing will increase the
        width (IIRC).

        > > To be honest, the linux firefox tests are far more legible than the
        > > windows jagged-and-scrunched up buttons. My guess is that the
        > > browser isn't able to accurately predict how much room the words
        > > require.
        >
        > Hmmm. Then that would be yet another difference between the so-called
        > "identical" versions 16.0.2 for Linux and Firefox.

        Yeah, but since Windows doesn't do such a good job of rendering text,
        and to me anyway, things are not so clear on Windows as linux, I find
        web browsing tedious on Windows now.

        > I have compared every possible option in the normal "option" and in
        > the advanced settings and they are identical for both the Linux and
        > Windows versions but the resultant display is clearly very different.
        >
        > I'm a bit puzzled by your comment "windows jagged-and-scrunched up
        > butttons". To my eye they look perfect and note also I'm always the
        > person asked to judge astronomical photo contents due to my color
        > perception (better than 99% of most peoples') and acuity (to detect
        > fringing, elongation, etc.) -- in other words, I have much better than
        > average eyesight though I am nearsighted and wear glasses.

        Perhaps you need rubbish eyes like me to appreciate how well the fonts
        render on linux 8-)

        > As best I can tell, the overflow error is due to the fonts being
        > rendered larger on Linux than they should be despite the identical
        > settings for both the Linux and Windows versions of Firefox. Because
        > of that I've relegated all my browsing to just my Windows systems
        > since I've spent weeks trying to solve the problem and cannot afford
        > to spend any more time.

        Brave man, browsing the web with windows is taking a bit of a risk in my
        book since you're using the most common attack vector!

        > I'm willing to spend a wee bit more time on this if anyone has some
        > good suggestions to try but it looks to me that given how much better
        > (from my point of view) the Windows Firefox is than the Linux one at the same version level this is going to be disappointing.

        I'd just try the program above, or its equivillent in your desktop and
        see if twiddling the font options enables text to fit the buttons.

        To be honest, if it's that much of an issue, can't some javascript loop
        over the buttons and pad them with   or something?

        > http://thadlabs.com/NEWS.htm

        Ah, I see what's happened here. You've set the button widths to pixel
        sizes. The fonts are subject to change from browser to browser. Another
        option to try is to see what happens when both Windows and Linux are
        rendering with DejaVu or something common. Looking at it with chrome I
        get roughly the same results but with a different UI toolkit.

        I would hazzard a guess that this page content was developed whilst
        previewing with Windows.

        > I'm really now wondering if Firefox for Linux/MacOS X/Windows has the
        > same code base; everything I'm seeing suggests it's not which would
        > explain a lot of other gotchas I've experienced.

        That'd get messy pretty quick. Probably large parts are included from
        ifdefines. There must be a large common segment as they build it for
        many platforms. When they went XUI (or whatever they called it, I fail
        to recall it clearly) I think the justification was to make cross
        platform easier.

        --
        Best regards,
        Ed http://www.s5h.net/
      • thad_floryan
        ... Hi Ed, I was going to first answer your today posting but one of your comments from yesterday has been lingering in my mind (see below). Turning off
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 12, 2013
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          --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, ed wrote:
          > On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 02:52:35AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
          > >[...]
          > > http://thadlabs.com/PIX/home_page_1_Linux.png UNacceptable
          > > http://thadlabs.com/PIX/home_page_1_Windows.jpg perfect
          >
          > What are the tests like when you turn off font aliasing?

          Hi Ed,

          I was going to first answer your today posting but one of your
          comments from yesterday has been lingering in my mind (see below).

          Turning off aliasing causes ugly fonts to be rendered. This has been
          a known issue for multi-decades and has nothing to do with the problem
          I'm having with the Linux version(s) of Firefox. Some backgrounders:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Font_rasterization

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spatial_anti-aliasing

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subpixel_rendering

          http://askubuntu.com/questions/68022/how-to-fix-font-rendering-no-anti-aliasing-in-unity-global-menu-and-search


          > To be honest, the linux firefox tests are far more legible than the
          > windows jagged-and-scrunched up buttons. My guess is that the
          > browser isn't able to accurately predict how much room the words
          > require.

          Are you looking at a "live" presentation using both a Linux Firefox
          and a Windows Firefox on my 'NEWS' page? Most people are unaware of
          ClearType which renders fonts beautiful on Windows systems:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClearType

          http://www.microsoft.com/typography/cleartype/tuner/step1.aspx

          http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306527

          http://www.fontshop.com/blog/newsletters/march10a/indexEMAIL.html

          http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/tune-your-cleartype-font-settings-in-windows-vista/

          http://typographica.org/on-typography/microsofts-cleartype-font-collection-a-fair-and-balanced-review/

          http://www.ascendercorp.com/catalog/microsoft/clear-type-font-collection/

          http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/06/23/engineering-changes-to-cleartype-in-windows-7.aspx

          http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2484161

          > This may be a result of the font smoothing, can be turned off with
          > the likes of the appearance settings program. Would be worth seeing
          > if that helps to cure the overflow error.

          It seems to be a font sizing problem with the Linux Firefox that does
          not occur in the same of the Windows Firefox. Here are my font
          settings for Firefox 16.0.2 both for Linux and Windows in a PDF so
          both can be seen at the same time (note I long-ago made sure the fonts
          directories on all my Linux and Windows are the same; that meant doing
          some copying inter-system including adding another 3000 or so other
          True Type fonts) [the following PDF is 2 pages, 220kB]:

          http://thadlabs.com/FILES/Fonts_Firefox_16.0.2_Linux+Windows.pdf

          I don't see any other font settings possible within Firefox, but I
          did find these items regarding Linux fonts:

          http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/48248/how-to-get-good-windows-like-font-rendering-on-linux-mint-kde

          http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/04/24/a-closer-look-at-font-rendering/

          https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Font_Configuration

          http://crunchbanglinux.org/wiki/howto/font_rendering

          http://puppylinux.org/wikka/ImproveFontRendering

          http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=110&t=116436

          http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4637339

          http://www.rawcomputing.co.uk/linux/linuxtips3.html

          http://linux.arantius.com/linux-font-rendering-stinks

          and 750,000 more which tells me that everyone including myself thinks
          Linux fonts and font rendering sucks dead bunnies through straw. A
          weird coincidence today is I found a dead bunny on my front lawn who
          must have died due to the cold; this leaves 3+ bunnies still kicking.
          I already put his carcass in the yard-waste recycling container for
          pickup tomorrow so I can't take a picture of it because the carcass
          is under the lawn and tree trimmings placed in the same bin by my
          gardeners later this afternoon. I surmise cold was the culprit due
          to no trauma to the bunny's body from a bobcat, feral cat, or cougar.

          The problem is due to something other than "simple" rendering because
          as you can see in the menus in the PDF the Linux and Firefox programs
          are different. A major difference is selecting one's preferences:

          For Linux Firefox it's "Edit -> Preferences" from the top menu

          For Windows Firefox it's click [Firefox] at the upper left hand
          corner of the Firefox frame, then select "Options -> Options"

          which is further evidence the same version number is internally
          different for Linux from Windows due to, perhaps, different teams.

          Thad
        • ed
          ... If you want good font rendering, RiscOS is the place to look. It s been on there since the early 90 s long before windows had the botched ClearType that
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 13, 2013
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            On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 06:46:50AM -0000, thad_floryan wrote:
            > http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/48248/how-to-get-good-windows-like-font-rendering-on-linux-mint-kde

            If you want good font rendering, RiscOS is the place to look. It's been
            on there since the early 90's long before windows had the botched
            ClearType that makes a really poor job of small fonts.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Font_rasterization

            Note that Windows fonts appear differently on screen to print, so
            perhaps its windows which is messing it all up and ff is getting it
            right on Linux?

            This goes back to what experience has taught me, don't try and make web
            things work in Windows, just let it work everywhere else. If it doesn't
            render (normally in IE, although this problem is windows vs linux ff in
            general) don't spend time trying to make it work on the MS product.

            If I had my OI VM around right now, I'd try it on that. What I did try
            at work however was FF running in EvilWM with xfce settings, and ff
            running on XP on another computer. Their button layouts were almost
            identical. I'd call that acceptable. For what it's worth that was with a
            DPI of 96.

            --
            Best regards,
            Ed http://www.s5h.net/
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