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Re: Font Smoothing and CSS

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 14:09:48 -0700
Message-Id: <v03102807b03a15142794@[206.170.1.138]>
To: "Justin Y." <Blackbelt8@classic.msn.com>, www-style@w3.org
At 19:48 +0000 8.9.97, Justin Y. wrote:
> Use a CSS property to put font smoothing into a Web page.
>
> Example:
>
> H1 	{font-smoothing: on,4}
>
> This would make all H1 tags in the page have font smoothing on it, and 4
>is
> the number of "grays" to use.
>
> This would eliminate the need for creating images when you want
>anti-alised
> text.

That, and a scalable font-transport mechanism. And a type rendering engine
to replace, patch, or invoke the operating system's other facilities for
this sort of thing (ATM4, Windows TrueType font-smoothing, SmoothType,
etc.). Sounds like Bitstream TrueDoc so far.

As you note, there are platform-specific and performance complications
here. Windows TrueType fonts, for instance, contain hard-coded information
about which sizes to anti-alias, which to hint, and which to do both.
Perhaps browsers could circumvent these settings by rendering the type 4x
into a buffer and then reducing, the way SmoothType does it on the Mac. But
this is costly in performance terms.

I do agree that anti-aliasing is critical to rendering a wide variety of
typefaces attractively at screen resolution. But I think this may be a
minority opinion - many people complain about "fuzziness," no matter how
well-done. I think it bears out the adage that people read best what they
read most. You could extend this argument to cover virtually all style,
though.

__________________
Todd Fahrner
mailto:fahrner@pobox.com
http://www.verso.com/
Received on Monday, 8 September 1997 17:13:06 GMT

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