W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2013

Re: A property for font antialiasing control on Mac OS X

From: Rik Cabanier <cabanier@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2013 23:24:11 -0700
Message-ID: <CAGN7qDDuXEpct9mooVo+OCqN0_d60N_Z6AYD6wQHsej8-kXkSQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Simon Fraser <smfr@me.com>
Cc: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>, www-style@w3.org
On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM, Simon Fraser <smfr@me.com> wrote:

> On Jul 17, 2013, at 9:34 pm, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org> wrote:
>
> > On Wednesday 2013-07-17 21:23 -0700, Simon Fraser wrote:
> >> On Jul 17, 2013, at 2:57 pm, L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org> wrote:
> >>
> >>> The most significant use case for author control is that while
> >>> subpixel antialiasing (on all platforms) often provides the best
> >>> results for body text [2], its implementation on Mac OS X has a
> >>> tendency to make light text on a dark background overly or even
> >>> unreadably bold [2].  This problem is fully cross-browser on Mac OS
> >>> X, in that all browsers on Mac OS X using the native text
> >>> rasterization code (all major browsers, I believe) run into this
> >>> problem.  In other words, there are many cases where subpixel AA is
> >>> preferable, but also a number of cases where it produces very bad
> >>> results that authors want to avoid.
> >>
> >> I understand your argument that the main reason this property exists is
> because
> >> of this "extra weight" problem on Mac. We (Apple) are aware of this
> issue.
> >>
> >> However, it would surprise me if authors didn't also want control over
> sub pixel-
> >> antialiasing itself.
> >>
> >> I did a quick test on Windows, looking at IE10 and Firefox, with
> ClearType enabled
> >> on the system. In a test case involving a 3D transform and opacity,
> Firefox applied
> >> subpixel-AA to only some of the elements on the page. IE 10 seems to
> disable
> >> ClearType for all web content, even though it was enabled for other UI
> in the system.
> >>
> >> So clearly, even without the Mac problem, subpixel AA differences
> exists on non-Mac
> >> platforms, and I suspect that discerning web authors would want control
> over it.
> >
> > So what's the motivation for wanting this control?  Is it that the
> > difference between subpixel AA and not subpixel AA was visible
> > without close examination, and the authors wanted consistency?
>
> I would think this would be the most common case, yes. Consistency between
> different elements on the page, and between the same element at different
> times.
> This is certainly the primary reason for current uses of
> -webkit-font-smoothing.
>
> > Or is it that the authors have a preference for one or the other for
> > a reason that shouldn't involve leaving the choice to the user's
> > settings?
>
>
> http://tanookisuitlabs.com/your-fonts-look-bad-in-chrome-heres-the-fix/shows
> that authors are willing to override the default font settings if they
> think it makes
> text look better (at least in the context of Mac heaviness).
>
> We really need to hear from designers to see if they care about subpixel-AA
> on any platforms other than Mac.
>

What do you mean? Other (all?) platforms have sub-pixel AA.
Do you mean if they care about controlling subpixel-AA or care about the
issues with subpixel-AA?
Received on Thursday, 18 July 2013 06:24:39 UTC

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