[blfs-support] BLFS 7.10 fonts less clear than in 7.9.

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Mon Sep 19 11:29:19 PDT 2016

On Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 07:56:29AM -0500, rhubarbpieguy at gmail.com wrote:
> I've run BLFS 7.10 for several days and noticed less clear fonts than with
> 7.9.  I reinstalled from square one without success and don't see my error.
> As a test, I reinstalled BLFS 7.10, but with BLFS 7.9 dejavu and fontconfig
> packages (dejavu-fonts-ttf-2.35 and fontconfig-2.11.1) and my fonts are
> fine.  So I have a workable solution, but my fix is a workaround.  I've kept
> my bad fonts 7.10 build.  How can I pinpoint the problem?
> I should mention my BLFS 7.10 fonts weren't terrible, but definitely less
> clear.  And again, my only deviation from the BLFS 7.10 documentation was
> using 7.9 dejavu and fontconfig packages. It appears the procedures to
> compile each are unchanged from 7.9.

Probably fontconfig.  I find it hard to believe that a font package
would be altered in a way which made it less clear.  The usual
changes to fonts are changing the shape of one or two glyphs, or
adding a few extra glyphs.

As a temporary step, you could try installing the newer version of
the font, but keeping the old fontconfig, to test if fontconfig is
indeed the cause of the problem.

The internet has a plethora of suggestions for tweaking what happens
in fontconfig.  Many of those suggestions are for preferring one
font to another, or for preferring japanese to chinese, but some are
related to (anti-)aliasing, hinting, etc.  I recall reading some
comments where people preferred to turn off ant-aliasing for some
fonts, but I don't recall the why or the how.

I suspect that the best setting is specific to the person and the
monitor.  Google for font_configuration in the Arch wiki, and look
at the Subpixel rendering (to be honest, the external link for
testing what sort of RGB seems to make minimal difference to me), and
perhaps Hintstyle and LCD Filter.

`I shall take my mountains', said Lu-Tze. `The climate will be good
for them.'     -- Small Gods

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