Font Rasterization

July 10th, 2007 § 2 comments

I remember the day the new font rasterizer was turned on in Safari for Windows. I couldn’t believe my eyes; something was wrong with text rendering. I was caught off guard when my manager said “Its supposed to look like that”. I had to prove the others that this was wrong, so I fired up Safari on the Mac, took screenshots, loaded them in Photoshop – only to discover they were the same. How could this be?

The reason I was shocked was because it didn’t look like Windows. After about a day of use, the shock wore off, I decided I liked the the new text rendering better.

The Antigrain team recently ran an article about their Font rasterization research. It is totally is worth the read.

§ 2 Responses to Font Rasterization"

  • Mark says:

    Hello Lou,

    I luckily came across your blog entries about Vista sidebar gadgets programming. Since your blog post seems to be the only and deepest information regarding transparency impacts in sidebar gadgets, I have one question where you might have heard a solution for:

    Running Flash content with wmode=transparent inside a sidebar gadget (flyout) for example, results in ugly pink borders/areas. This seems only to happen where in Flash itself alpha effects are used, like shadows or imported transparent png images.

    Probably the answer is: Wrong technology, use WPF (for the next project we will give it a try!) ๐Ÿ˜‰
    It will be great if you could supply me with some hints or a link to address this problem. You blogged about this with a lot of images under รขโ‚ฌโ€œ unfortunately the images are unavailable, is there a way to access these images from too?

    Bye Mark

  • lou.amadio says:

    thanks for writing. I moved blog software and lost those images. Sidebar uses some hand waving to simulate alpha to the desktop. Flash is attempting some antialiasing which sidebar cannot compensate for. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to enable your scenario.

    If you want to look into alternate renderers, you could look into webkit for windows: its the same engine that enables dashboard. I don’t think it would be terribly difficult to build a really great widget platform using it: look at the inspector, it already renders to a layered window.

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