Nick Jordan

Effortlessly uncool.

Firefox 3 Font Rendering

I’ve been playing with the latest pre-release version of Firefox 3 and overall it’s excellent. It’s fast, much more memory-efficient and has some nice new features. There is, however, one major problem. The font rendering is quite simply atrocious. It’s eye-wateringly ugly and nothing I’ve tried so far has improved it to the point where it’s usable.

I should mention here that I’m talking only about the Linux version – from what I’ve seen online, the Windows and Mac versions are fine. I’ve also seen screenshots of it on Linux that look fine, so clearly the problem depends on your precise set up. For the record, I’m using KDE 3.5.7 on OpenSUSE 10.3. I’ve tried Gnome and found that it makes no difference, and I don’t think I would switch to Gnome just so that my browser looked prettier anyway. I love KDE way too much.

I’m sure there’s a solution out there that will work for me. Indeed, it’s entirely possible that when OpenSUSE’s official version of the final release comes out it’ll work beautifully and I’ll be a happy man. It’d be kinda nice to be reassured that all will be well before then, though.

Update: I finally managed to get it sorted, after much messing around. I’m now ready for the launch on Tuesday.

Share

4 Comments
  1. James Mason Thursday, 19th June, 2008, 12:17 am

    I feel your pain. As someone prone to visual migranes, firefox 3 is, quite literally, painful.

    Since Mozilla has taken the approach that this is up to the packagers, I’ve posted a bug on Novell’s bugzilla. Feel free to add a few votes!

    https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=401537

  2. Nick Thursday, 19th June, 2008, 7:25 am

    Actually, I managed to solve the problem after much messing around with the font settings in Gnome. Even after switching back to KDE, Firefox 3 picks up the Gnome settings.

  3. Dan Monday, 23rd June, 2008, 3:12 pm

    How did you solve the font rendering issue?
    Please share details.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  4. Nick Monday, 23rd June, 2008, 3:23 pm

    Dan: I set up font rendering via the Gnome Configuration Editor as follows:

    In /desktop/gnome/font_rendering, set antialiasing to ‘rgba’, dpi to ’96’, hinting to ‘slight’ and rgba_order to ‘rgb’.

    Your own optimum settings may well be different, depending on your monitor, but the above will be a good place to start on LCD types at least.


Add your comment

XHTML: You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>