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: Thu, 4 Oct 2012 09:53:11 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDCFkMAh8AYhHGNpPuA7DHbzra-efYC95SMzVNnWChz2ZA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ben Wagner <bungeman@chromium.org>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Thanks for the detailed (and much more accurate than mine) post!

On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM, Ben Wagner <bungeman@chromium.org> wrote:
> 1. Agree that text-rendering:geometricPrecision means rasterizing
> glyphs from unmodified outlines. This states intent and is forward
> looking, it also helps those with 'icon fonts'.

This means "no hinting at all", correct?  If so, I still oppose it -
hinting is useful for body-text-sized fonts.  Let's not throw the baby
out with the bathwater, here.

(You could argue that authors will only apply this to their headings,
but you'd be wrong.  Magic make-everything-better switches tend to
migrate upwards in the document, especially when they have little or
no effect on the platform the author is developing on.)

If it only means "turn off the Mac's auto-dilation", that's better,
but then it seems weirdly specific.

(geometricPrecision seems to be targeted straight at "turn off
hinting", but I have no idea why.  It's not like you can suddenly
measure text ahead of time if you turn off hinting - you still need to
draw it and then measure afterwards.  This seems like a switch for the
hell of it, possibly based on older use-cases or without thought for
small text.  After all, SVG wasn't designed to handle body text.)

> 2. Agree that -webkit-font-smoothing should have been called
> -apple-font-smoothing or even -coregraphics-font-smoothing, state
> such, and only ever honor the request when using CoreGraphics to
> rasterize. This leaves things more the way they have been, but makes
> it clear that the property is very, very implementation specific. Note
> that MDN provides better documentation for -webkit-font-smoothing than
> Safari does (none).

I'm fine with this.  However, you mentioned above (in a part I
snipped) that icon fonts would like to opt out of LCD AA.  Was this
correct as stated (they actually want grayscale AA), or did you just
mean that they want to avoid being dilated?

~TJ
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2012 16:53:58 GMT

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