W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2012

Re: Text anti-aliasing on the Mac

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 12:21:21 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDA8ic1C+NaYMgTKVVfxW3ELGB07JQKmM7-CXjj-rnFJsA@mail.gmail.com>
To: robert@ocallahan.org
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 3:43 AM, Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 7:06 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Previously, Chrome had some properties that incidentally switched text
>> to grayscale anti-aliasing, which people used to avoid this pop.  As
>> well, some designers simply dislike the "fat text" effect that LCD
>> anti-aliasing causes on Macs (particularly in their heading fonts,
>> which looked bold on Mac but normal elsewhere), and so used these
>> properties to switch to grayscale anti-aliasing in general.  Chrome 22
>> changed the behavior of some of these properties so that they no
>> longer switched the anti-aliasing to grayscale, which caused a lot of
>> people to complain.  We're reverting this change for now, but we still
>> have the unsolved problem of the "pop", and designer's general desire
>> to avoid "fat text".
>>
>> So, I bring this to you, the WG.  How do Firefox and Opera deal with
>> this?  (IE, you get a pass this time.)  Safari, any opinions?
>
>
> I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "this". We don't offer a supported way
> to turn off subpixel AA (on any platform) and I'm not aware of any clamor
> for it. I don't know why that is; maybe Web designers have bigger complaints
> about our rendering, or maybe our support for subpixel positioning and
> always-on text shaping mitigates the problem.

What I mean by "this" is "the problem on Macs where switching between
grayscale and subpixel AA causes a big noticeable text pop".

My goal is to find out if this is something other vendors are having
similar problems with, and thus something we should probably address
as a group, or if other vendors are largely okay with this (either
because they have different mitigation techniques, or their users just
aren't complaining as much), and so WebKit can deal with it on its own
with some proprietary switch.

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2012 19:22:11 GMT

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