Poor quality font rendering

John Hendrikx hjohn at xs4all.nl
Thu Aug 22 07:54:20 PDT 2013

On 22/08/2013 16:23, Scott Palmer wrote:
> To do a fair comparison you need to use the same font face,size, foreground
> and background colors, etc.  and compare the "native" and java -rendered
> text side by side (even at the same pixel coordinates in case it makes a
> difference).
> John H. mentioned Arial 16px "normal" in the CSS, and he mentions "the
> sizes and weights are tweaked depending on location" -  the "2" that is
> rendering awkward looks like it has been made "bold" - probably via a
> transformation applied to the original font rather than selecting a
> naturally bold typeface.  It's not always easy to tell though.
It is bold, this style is applied:

.elements {
   -fx-background-color: color-content-background;
   -fx-background-radius: 0 0 8 0;
   -fx-font-size: 13px;
   -fx-font-weight: bold;

However, the text wasn't always like this.  Somewhere around b90-b99 
this has changed to a different rendering, as I'm sure I would have 
noticed it immediately.  Even though I think the plot text looks as well 
as can be expected (it is grayscale smoothed only as DLP Projectors 
don't actually work like LCD screens), I'm fairly picky about things 
like that showing up (I can't stand LCD smoothing for example as it 
gives glyphs colored edges no matter how much tuning I do).

> I've seen poor font rendering in native applications too. (Web browsers on
> Linux are notoriously bad at making text look awful)
> I would try the same exact rendering in HTML and show it in a few different
> browers to compare.  Then try the same thing in a word processor, etc.  See
> if the context of the rendering affects the quality in non-Java
> applications as well.
> Scott
> On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 7:39 AM, John C. Turnbull<ozemale at ozemail.com.au>wrote:
>> John H, it may be just me but pretty much *all* the fonts in your
>> screenshot
>> look quite poor and noticeably different from native font rendering.  If
>> you
>> look for instance at the text in the "Plot" section, to me that text looks
>> awful.
>> Is that inside a WebView or some other control?
>> -jct
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: openjfx-dev-bounces at openjdk.java.net
>> [mailto:openjfx-dev-bounces at openjdk.java.net] On Behalf Of John Hendrikx
>> Sent: Thursday, 22 August 2013 17:29
>> To: openjfx-dev at openjdk.java.net
>> Subject: Re: Poor quality font rendering
>> I took another good look, and I see what is bothering me is mostly how the
>> glyph "2" is rendered on my system (it has a thick appearing curve attached
>> to the base).  I've included a screenshot of my application that uses
>> several different sizes fonts, but it seems only the ones in the top bar
>> are
>> rendered somewhat wierd.
>> http://ukyo.xs4all.nl/Digit2RenderedPoorlyInTopBar.png
>> I'm on Windows 7, JavaFX 8b99, 32-bit, using D3D pipeline (I get this stuff
>> in log in an infinite loop, so must be D3D I think):
>> D3D Vram Pool: 129,613,674 used (48.3%), 129,613,674 managed (48.3%),
>> 268,435,456 total                   --
>> com.sun.prism.impl.ManagedResource.printSummary(ManagedResource.java:134)
>> 75 total resources being
>> managed
>> --
>> com.sun.prism.impl.ManagedResource.printSummary(ManagedResource.java:153)
>> 4 permanent resources
>> (5.3%)
>> --
>> com.sun.prism.impl.ManagedResource.printSummary(ManagedResource.java:154)
>> 2 resources locked
>> (2.7%)
>> --
>> com.sun.prism.impl.ManagedResource.printSummary(ManagedResource.java:156)
>> 43 resources contain interesting data
>> (57.3%)                                                             --
>> com.sun.prism.impl.ManagedResource.printSummary(ManagedResource.java:158)
>> 0 resources disappeared
>> (0.0%)
>> --
>> com.sun.prism.impl.ManagedResource.printSummary(ManagedResource.java:160)
>> I also have this in main, before Application.launch is called:
>>       System.setProperty("prism.lcdtext", "false");
>> In .root in CSS I have:
>>     -fx-font-family: "Arial";
>>     -fx-font-size: 16px;
>>     -fx-font-weight: normal;
>> So all the fonts you see should be Arial (but the sizes and weights are
>> tweaked depending on location).
>> --John
>> On 21/08/2013 20:51, Felipe Heidrich wrote:
>>> John H:
>>> In JFX we decided to go with sub-pixel positioned text (as opposite to
>> pixel grid aligned).
>>> That said, on Windows for grayscale text, we are not doing that (yet).
>> Are
>> you running Windows, with D3D pipeline ?
>>> I would need to see a picture to be sure I understand the problem you
>> describe.
>>> Felipe
>>> On Aug 21, 2013, at 10:19 AM, John Hendrikx wrote:
>>>> I think I also noticed a change in font rendering around b99
>> somewhere...
>> the fonts seem to be thinner than before, or perhaps more poorly aligned
>> with pixel boundaries.  I'd prefer glyphs laid out in the same way each
>> time, ie. letters are always on a new pixel boundary, so the same letter
>> will look the same regardless of what preceeds it.  I have LCD rendering
>> turned off as I donot appreciate colored fringes on my glyphs.
>>>> On 21/08/2013 14:53, John C. Turnbull wrote:
>>>>> I have only really tested JavaFX extensively on Windows so my
>>>>> comments here apply mainly to that platform.
>>>>> It seems that even with a font smoothing type of LCD, font rendering
>>>>> in JavaFX is not at the same level of quality of native
>>>>> applications.  My current experiences are with JavaFX 8 b103 and I
>>>>> find that all rendered text in JavaFX appears of a significantly
>>>>> poorer quality than that which I would see in Word for example or
>>>>> even in IE10 (which I believe uses the same text rendering engine).
>> Also, these observations are based on text in "standard"
>>>>> controls and the quality of font rendering is dramatically worse
>>>>> within the Canvas control.
>>>>> I am not an expert in font technology but I have read many times
>>>>> that the levels of antialiasing for text that can be achieved in a
>>>>> GPU-based renderer are always going to be less than that achieved in a
>> CPU-based renderer.
>>>>> This is often explained on the basis of graphics card drivers being
>>>>> optimised for performance and the rapid rendering of triangles
>>>>> commonly required in games rather than for rendering quality when it
>> comes to text.
>>>>> Is this the reason why JavaFX font rendering appears less legible
>>>>> and of a lower quality than native apps?
>>>>> If so, how does IE10 for example achieve a higher quality of
>>>>> rendering when it seems to also use DirectWrite?
>>>>> Is the quality of JavaFX font rendering ever going to improve?
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> -jct

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