Re: Speaking of fonts...

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On Sun, 9 Jul 2006, Tom Horsley wrote:

I think I know what the real problem is with getting good font
display by default. There isn't enough information in the
xorg.conf file to scale the fonts properly. It came to me
when thinking about this, that the bigger your monitor, the
farther back you tend to sit.

The algorithms rampant in the various font systems on linux
seem to scale based on a linear algorithm considering
only dots per inch, and not taking into account how far
away from the monitor you probably sit.

This didn't seem like it could be an original thought, so
I did a little web searching and found this:

http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/feb02.asp

As the author points out, what you want is for the font to
subtend the same angle to be the same apparent point size.

We either need xorg.conf to include a new DistanceFromMonitor
parameter that can be factored into the font scaling, or
we just need the scalaing algorithms to use a heuristic that
guesses you are likely to be sitting farther away the larger
your monitor is (or both - it might be nice to have a relatively
small monitor, but inform X you are gonna be looking at it
from across the room, so it needs to scale the fonts way up,
so a heuristic wouldn't necessarily always work, but could be
a good default).
One thing I find helps is correctly setting DPI in the font configuration
screen. There is other good advice collected at
http://www.ces.clemson.edu/linux/fc5_setup.shtml.
--
		Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs


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