[Fontconfig] what's up with linux fonts lately?

synaptical synaptical at linuxquestions.net
Tue Jul 27 06:13:02 EST 2004

with recent releases of some distros, the fonts have gone all to h3ll and nothing seems to fix them. they've gone for example from this:
to this:

from this:
to this:

from this:
to this:

i first noticed it going from slackware 9 to 9.1, but compiling XFree from source fixed the problem and i had good fonts again. but with the upgrade to slack 10 that is no longer working, and nothing else is either -- no local.conf settings, no dpi changes, no bytecode interpreter, no XFree/xorg.conf settings, no hinting options -- nothing. they're just not being rendered correctly.

i've posted the problem on a few forums, and while many people are noticing the same font degradation on their own systems since recent upgrades, no one seems to know what the problem is. i thought i would come to the font gurus to see if i can find an answer.  

some random points that might help diagnose: 
+ commenting out "load freetype" in X config file has no effect -- is it even working? 
+ in arch linux at least, the libfreetype files are being installed to /usr/lib, but when i install freetype manually, i notice they go to /usr/local/lib. i tried to symlink to the newer version of libfreetype, but the fonts got worse
+ in slack 10 on my laptop, i can get the good fonts in gnome by selecting the "grayscale" aa option in the gconf-editor, but it doesn't carry over to other window managers, and it doesn't work in debian or arch at all.

so is this a distro-related problem, perhaps having to do with how the newer packages are being compiled (e.g., without Xft support, wrong library locations, etc.), or is it a fontconfig/freetype problem? i'm not really sure where to turn next. 

sorry if this is the wrong list, but i couldn't find one for freetype. you folks seemed to know the most about fonts out of anyone, so i figured i would try here. appreciate your attention, pls. lmk if you need any more details. 


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