Linux’ achilles heel: fonts

I was just reading David Berlind talking about Tim Bray’s use of Linux over the past couple of weeks (he’s going back to the Mac). I know what keeps me on Apple and Microsoft OS’s, though, and it might not be what you expect.

What keeps me from using Linux? Three things: readability. Fonts. Aesthetics.

Geeks don’t think they matter. But at Gnomedex I could always pick the one or two Linux users out of the crowd instantly. Why? Their fonts looked ugly and weren’t as readable.

Maryam’s new Mac’s fonts are blurry compared to Windows too, but they still are a HUGE advance over anything I’ve seen on Linux.

Why is this? Because font designers like Matthew Carter don’t work for free. One typeface might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop. Even millions. Hinting fonts takes a LOT of technology (Microsoft has at least two teams that I know of working on font and reading technologies).

It gets even worse if you’re Chinese or Russian or Japanese (I hear there’s a few people living in those countries). Why? Their font families take longer to develop and are harder to do. When I visited Bill Hill (his team developed ClearType and commissioned most of the fonts you see in Microsoft’s default pack on Windows) he was raving about his team’s work.

Why is this important? Name the #1 thing you look at most on your computer screen. For me it’s the characters on the screen. If one OS has better looking characters than another (Windows Vista has a whole set of new fonts coming) then that OS will win with most users who aren’t geeks.

This is the #1 reason why Linux hasn’t seen any significant adoption on the desktop/laptop yet.

Fix that problem and you’ll see a serious third competitor for everyday consumers.

But the problem is that Matthew Carter (and other typographers like him) don’t do their work for free. That means Apple and Microsoft will win this game.

The best fonts win.

Oh, and Microsoft, you better hold onto Bill Hill. If he goes to Google then I’ll know Google is building an OS.

Bill told me that the guy who decided to invest in fonts on Windows was another Bill. You might have heard of him. I think that decision will turn out to be the smartest “keep Windows important” move Gates ever made.

Comments

  1. Tim Bray’s a knowledgable guy, no doubt, but I thought some of his complaints about Linux were exaggerated. It’s pretty trivial to turn on and tweak font antialiasing in Ubuntu.

    The bundled fonts aren’t all pretty, but you can use PostScript, TrueType and OpenType typefaces on Linux. The most common of these bundles is the webfonts set. It doesn’t require any dancing or gyrating, but it might require typing “installing microsoft fonts in ubuntu” into a Google search box.

    And another thing: I think the font antialiasing in Linux is much closer to the Cleartype sharp style than the smooth Mac OS X style.

  2. Tim Bray’s a knowledgable guy, no doubt, but I thought some of his complaints about Linux were exaggerated. It’s pretty trivial to turn on and tweak font antialiasing in Ubuntu.

    The bundled fonts aren’t all pretty, but you can use PostScript, TrueType and OpenType typefaces on Linux. The most common of these bundles is the webfonts set. It doesn’t require any dancing or gyrating, but it might require typing “installing microsoft fonts in ubuntu” into a Google search box.

    And another thing: I think the font antialiasing in Linux is much closer to the Cleartype sharp style than the smooth Mac OS X style.

  3. I’m sure the quality of an individual’s eyesight has a lot to do with his preferences in this area. I find Mac font display to be superior to both Windows and Linux. Other eyes may see things differently.

    I’ve been using and playing with Linux for a decade. Display issues are always what drives me back to a better desktop. In my case, that’s a Mac.

    That said, yes, it is possible to significantly improve fonts on Linux by imported Microsoft and Mac fonts. I’ve done that recently on an Ubuntu installation. The display improved greatly.

    However, no user should need to go through that. How many copies of Windows or OS X would be sold if they looked like crap out of the box?

    Until the Linux can acquire the typography and design quality that’s part of both Windows and OS X, it will run in third place.

  4. I’m sure the quality of an individual’s eyesight has a lot to do with his preferences in this area. I find Mac font display to be superior to both Windows and Linux. Other eyes may see things differently.

    I’ve been using and playing with Linux for a decade. Display issues are always what drives me back to a better desktop. In my case, that’s a Mac.

    That said, yes, it is possible to significantly improve fonts on Linux by imported Microsoft and Mac fonts. I’ve done that recently on an Ubuntu installation. The display improved greatly.

    However, no user should need to go through that. How many copies of Windows or OS X would be sold if they looked like crap out of the box?

    Until the Linux can acquire the typography and design quality that’s part of both Windows and OS X, it will run in third place.

  5. The best Linux distro I have ever used was the Mandrake 8.1 release. Everything seemd to work perfectly in that release. After that release, not even Mandrake (Mandriva now) has come close to a similar release. But, Ubuntu is really looking better & better with every release.

  6. The best Linux distro I have ever used was the Mandrake 8.1 release. Everything seemd to work perfectly in that release. After that release, not even Mandrake (Mandriva now) has come close to a similar release. But, Ubuntu is really looking better & better with every release.

  7. Robert, make sure the right font-smoothing setting is on for Maryam (best for Flat Panel) in System Preferences/Appearance
    Apple includes some truly beautiful fonts in OS X, especially for Chinese/Japanese, but a lot of great classic Roman faces too, and check out Zapfino for pure beauty. They are hinted, but they aren’t specifically designed with screens in mind like the MS ones. The other thing that really helps is higher pixel density, which is why your Dell wins out over the pixel-starved macs.

  8. Robert, make sure the right font-smoothing setting is on for Maryam (best for Flat Panel) in System Preferences/Appearance
    Apple includes some truly beautiful fonts in OS X, especially for Chinese/Japanese, but a lot of great classic Roman faces too, and check out Zapfino for pure beauty. They are hinted, but they aren’t specifically designed with screens in mind like the MS ones. The other thing that really helps is higher pixel density, which is why your Dell wins out over the pixel-starved macs.

  9. “But the problem is that Matthew Carter (and other typographers like him) don’t do their work for free. That means Apple and Microsoft will win this game.”

    Isn’t that the same argument as “Oh the best kernel, database, middleware hackers don’t do their work for free so oss will never have the quality of commercial software”. Yet its been disproved over and over again. Its the wisdom of the crowds that has created very compelling competitors to commercial software. So its not a good idea to suggest the winners so quickly. Evolution is amazing :)

  10. “But the problem is that Matthew Carter (and other typographers like him) don’t do their work for free. That means Apple and Microsoft will win this game.”

    Isn’t that the same argument as “Oh the best kernel, database, middleware hackers don’t do their work for free so oss will never have the quality of commercial software”. Yet its been disproved over and over again. Its the wisdom of the crowds that has created very compelling competitors to commercial software. So its not a good idea to suggest the winners so quickly. Evolution is amazing :)

  11. Well, not gonna get burnt on that eternal OS wars flamebait, cue up 15 years of Usenet threads here.

    But having said that, the new Microsoft fonts, the 6 C’s, are fantastic, Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas, Constantina, Corbel. But then the whole “Segoe”, we really ripped off ‘Frutiger Next’ bit. Typical Microsoft. ;)

  12. Well, not gonna get burnt on that eternal OS wars flamebait, cue up 15 years of Usenet threads here.

    But having said that, the new Microsoft fonts, the 6 C’s, are fantastic, Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas, Constantina, Corbel. But then the whole “Segoe”, we really ripped off ‘Frutiger Next’ bit. Typical Microsoft. ;)

  13. “Maryam’s new Mac’s fonts are blurry compared to Windows too”

    You know, I have the name of a great optometrist if you’re interested. It must be difficult not seeing the real world correctly.

  14. “Maryam’s new Mac’s fonts are blurry compared to Windows too”

    You know, I have the name of a great optometrist if you’re interested. It must be difficult not seeing the real world correctly.

  15. I’m in full agreement with “Dileepa P” (#4). Mandrake 8.1 was great. The Drakfont tool was very easy to use, if I remember right. I never looked at subsequent releases, but I remember hearing tales of things breaking between 8.1 and 8.2.

    I’m using Ubuntu now at home, but I was just talking to my buddy Tim about moving to Kubuntu. (Uses KDE desktop instead of Gnome.)

    Right now, my main interface problem is getting Ubuntu to work in 1440×900. None of the remedies I’ve googled seem to work.

    Haven’t tried to migrate fonts yet either. We’ll see how *that* goes.

  16. I’m in full agreement with “Dileepa P” (#4). Mandrake 8.1 was great. The Drakfont tool was very easy to use, if I remember right. I never looked at subsequent releases, but I remember hearing tales of things breaking between 8.1 and 8.2.

    I’m using Ubuntu now at home, but I was just talking to my buddy Tim about moving to Kubuntu. (Uses KDE desktop instead of Gnome.)

    Right now, my main interface problem is getting Ubuntu to work in 1440×900. None of the remedies I’ve googled seem to work.

    Haven’t tried to migrate fonts yet either. We’ll see how *that* goes.

  17. One thing that has suprised me along this front is why IBM hasn’t jumped all over helping move forward the UI/user experience in Linux, maybe even teaming up with an Adobe. Although I am not a Mac fan or user they have done a great job in turning a very similar OS that was a geek bastion only in to a designers dream station. I would think the whole non-Microsoft camp would be all over this but until they do that will continue to be an impediment to Linux adoption as a desktop by the average user.
    http://www.mikeysgblog.com

  18. One thing that has suprised me along this front is why IBM hasn’t jumped all over helping move forward the UI/user experience in Linux, maybe even teaming up with an Adobe. Although I am not a Mac fan or user they have done a great job in turning a very similar OS that was a geek bastion only in to a designers dream station. I would think the whole non-Microsoft camp would be all over this but until they do that will continue to be an impediment to Linux adoption as a desktop by the average user.
    http://www.mikeysgblog.com

  19. Raj: “Apple has done such a good job, most people would be shocked to know that they are using UNIX.”

    Doesn’t really relate to the layers on top. And actually, even down there there are lot of Apple-specific technologies, such as the I/OKit driver model.

  20. Raj: “Apple has done such a good job, most people would be shocked to know that they are using UNIX.”

    Doesn’t really relate to the layers on top. And actually, even down there there are lot of Apple-specific technologies, such as the I/OKit driver model.

  21. It would be interesting to have some “inside view” of the font rendering technologies used in Mac OS X. Scoble’s Channel 9 interviews with Bill Hill, Geraldine Wade and the rest of the Microsoft Typography team are instructive in terms of the efforts Microsoft has put into screen readability and the new Vista fonts; and also show how this is not such a trival area, and the intersection between human factors and “pure” technology.

  22. It would be interesting to have some “inside view” of the font rendering technologies used in Mac OS X. Scoble’s Channel 9 interviews with Bill Hill, Geraldine Wade and the rest of the Microsoft Typography team are instructive in terms of the efforts Microsoft has put into screen readability and the new Vista fonts; and also show how this is not such a trival area, and the intersection between human factors and “pure” technology.

  23. I coludn’t agree more or less. Even though fonts in linux do look smooth they are not as readable as on a mac or windows. WOW I didn’t know that Typefaces cost that much Millions. By the way being one of the top blogger out there why don’t you get a better design/fonts on your blog. :)

  24. I coludn’t agree more or less. Even though fonts in linux do look smooth they are not as readable as on a mac or windows. WOW I didn’t know that Typefaces cost that much Millions. By the way being one of the top blogger out there why don’t you get a better design/fonts on your blog. :)

  25. Chris wrote: “http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/ has the core fonts (arial, tahoma, verdana, and georgia, I think) but it’s a pain to go through the install process.”

    Actually, in a debian-based system its pretty painless. In Ubuntu its as easy as installing the “msttcorefonts” package. You get:

    Andale Mono
    Arial Black
    Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Comic Sans MS (Bold)
    Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Impact
    Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Webdings

    (Tahoma, while in the current sourceforge spec file, isn’t downloaded by the debian file but will be by future debian packages)

    Personally I don’t think that fonts are an “achilles heel” for Linux any more than any other aspect of it. Ubuntu Dapper doesn’t look that bad if you ask me:

    http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=718&slide=4&title=ubuntu+6.06.1+screenshots

    Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if some large companies with deep pockets and a financial interest in Linux might just donate a font or two ;)

  26. Chris wrote: “http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/ has the core fonts (arial, tahoma, verdana, and georgia, I think) but it’s a pain to go through the install process.”

    Actually, in a debian-based system its pretty painless. In Ubuntu its as easy as installing the “msttcorefonts” package. You get:

    Andale Mono
    Arial Black
    Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Comic Sans MS (Bold)
    Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Impact
    Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    Webdings

    (Tahoma, while in the current sourceforge spec file, isn’t downloaded by the debian file but will be by future debian packages)

    Personally I don’t think that fonts are an “achilles heel” for Linux any more than any other aspect of it. Ubuntu Dapper doesn’t look that bad if you ask me:

    http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=718&slide=4&title=ubuntu+6.06.1+screenshots

    Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if some large companies with deep pockets and a financial interest in Linux might just donate a font or two ;)

  27. Paulr and Andy: I don’t set ANY font. Your browser does that. Change your browser’s default font and my font will change too. Set it to Verdana for best effect.

    Why do I do that? Cause it saves bandwidth and works better for browser control. By the way, Dave Winer does the same thing so you’ll fix both of our blogs in one default setting change.

  28. Paulr and Andy: I don’t set ANY font. Your browser does that. Change your browser’s default font and my font will change too. Set it to Verdana for best effect.

    Why do I do that? Cause it saves bandwidth and works better for browser control. By the way, Dave Winer does the same thing so you’ll fix both of our blogs in one default setting change.

  29. bluesaze: “WOW I didn’t know that Typefaces cost that much Millions.”

    According to Bill Hill (Channel 9 interviews), some Japanese fonts used to take 50 man-years to create! (IIRC ’cause they had to create bitmaps for a lot of different point sizes, but the new Vista Japanese font overcomes that problem.)

    pete: “u can use whatever font u like , and default fonts on most distris are good enough for everday use ..”

    The problem is not that you can “use any font that you like,” (ignoring the “it just works out of the box” issue,) but having both high quality fonts optimized for particular high quality font rendering system–as in the case of the Microsoft fonts which are designed for on-screen readability using ClearType rendering, as well as printing. (Verdana, OTOH, looks particularly ugly in print; I’ve even seen it on billboards, for which I think it’s entirely inappropriate.) I can (and have) used all the new Vista fonts on my Mac–but they don’t display the same as they do on Windows.

    As for “everyday use,” the fact much of the activity on desktop computers is reading of some kind means that the best quality fonts and rendering is not something to be retained for “some days,” or some kind of “font cognoscenti,” but something that affects everyone every day–even if they don’t realize it.

    Regardless of the specifics in this case, I do think Scoble has hit on a key point: there are many apparently “minor details” which are not altogether trival to get right, that end up being a problem for Linux. (Or any OS, for that matter.)

  30. bluesaze: “WOW I didn’t know that Typefaces cost that much Millions.”

    According to Bill Hill (Channel 9 interviews), some Japanese fonts used to take 50 man-years to create! (IIRC ’cause they had to create bitmaps for a lot of different point sizes, but the new Vista Japanese font overcomes that problem.)

    pete: “u can use whatever font u like , and default fonts on most distris are good enough for everday use ..”

    The problem is not that you can “use any font that you like,” (ignoring the “it just works out of the box” issue,) but having both high quality fonts optimized for particular high quality font rendering system–as in the case of the Microsoft fonts which are designed for on-screen readability using ClearType rendering, as well as printing. (Verdana, OTOH, looks particularly ugly in print; I’ve even seen it on billboards, for which I think it’s entirely inappropriate.) I can (and have) used all the new Vista fonts on my Mac–but they don’t display the same as they do on Windows.

    As for “everyday use,” the fact much of the activity on desktop computers is reading of some kind means that the best quality fonts and rendering is not something to be retained for “some days,” or some kind of “font cognoscenti,” but something that affects everyone every day–even if they don’t realize it.

    Regardless of the specifics in this case, I do think Scoble has hit on a key point: there are many apparently “minor details” which are not altogether trival to get right, that end up being a problem for Linux. (Or any OS, for that matter.)

  31. Agreed, particularly in regards the new Calibri. A singular charm in the otherwise pregnant-water buffalo-on-glue experience of Outlook 2007 Beta 2.

  32. Agreed, particularly in regards the new Calibri. A singular charm in the otherwise pregnant-water buffalo-on-glue experience of Outlook 2007 Beta 2.

  33. As someone else hinted, adding the core fonts in Debian is a single install command. I think the reason they are not installed by default is that Microsoft REQUIRES that they be downloaded fresh for each use and not packaged for redistribution.

    I suspect this is also so that they can withdraw them from use at any time.

    It was good of Microsoft, in the interest of Web-standard readability to make those fonts available. But there are also good alternatives without strings attached. And it is in other countries like China and India where someone *IS* likely to to font-work for free. Just because someone paid millions to do something once that doesn’t mean it was actually worth that, or that it would cost that much to do today. There once was a time when all computers cost millions.

    Also, the anti-aliasing of fonts that used to be important for readability on low resolution screens starts to have a negative effect (that fuzzy look someone mentioned) on really high resolution screens. Essentially the more dots that are used to make up a font character the less anti-aliasing is needed to make it look smooth.

  34. As someone else hinted, adding the core fonts in Debian is a single install command. I think the reason they are not installed by default is that Microsoft REQUIRES that they be downloaded fresh for each use and not packaged for redistribution.

    I suspect this is also so that they can withdraw them from use at any time.

    It was good of Microsoft, in the interest of Web-standard readability to make those fonts available. But there are also good alternatives without strings attached. And it is in other countries like China and India where someone *IS* likely to to font-work for free. Just because someone paid millions to do something once that doesn’t mean it was actually worth that, or that it would cost that much to do today. There once was a time when all computers cost millions.

    Also, the anti-aliasing of fonts that used to be important for readability on low resolution screens starts to have a negative effect (that fuzzy look someone mentioned) on really high resolution screens. Essentially the more dots that are used to make up a font character the less anti-aliasing is needed to make it look smooth.

  35. Mac: Actually I’ve used an $8,000 200dpi monitor and ClearType makes an even bigger difference there. To my eye fonts with ClearType are FAR more readable.

    But, ClearType doesn’t work for about 10% of the population due to how some people perceive color.

  36. Mac: Actually I’ve used an $8,000 200dpi monitor and ClearType makes an even bigger difference there. To my eye fonts with ClearType are FAR more readable.

    But, ClearType doesn’t work for about 10% of the population due to how some people perceive color.

  37. Mac: someone in China might make fonts, but they won’t be as good due to Microsoft’s proprietary hinting technology which is coming out in Vista. Also, fonts are art. Like someone said one typeface can take quite a while to really get right.

  38. Mac: someone in China might make fonts, but they won’t be as good due to Microsoft’s proprietary hinting technology which is coming out in Vista. Also, fonts are art. Like someone said one typeface can take quite a while to really get right.

  39. [...] If Adobe threw its full weight behind Linux, it could make the operating system relevant on the desktopDavid’s post is rather timely because I was just talking with someone today about Adobe software on Linux. I have made no secret that I think Adobe has a lot of potential if they embrace Linux. However David brings up the DRM issue which is where I think Adobe and Linux users should really be cooperating. David is absolutely correct when he says that one of the major shortcomings of Linux is its inability to handle multimedia. Scoble is also correct when he says that Linux has horrible, horrible fonts. These are two things that Flash could improve immensely if Linux users bought into Adobe’s platform. [...]

  40. Since my machine came with an OEM MS XP license it was trivial to import MS’s fonts.

    Then again, screw the linux desktop, I love the linux console ;)

  41. Since my machine came with an OEM MS XP license it was trivial to import MS’s fonts.

    Then again, screw the linux desktop, I love the linux console ;)

  42. [...] Tech evangelist (and former Microsoft employee) Robert Scoble on why Linux has not yet conquered the desktop: Name the #1 thing you look at most on your computer screen. For me it’s the characters on the screen. If one OS has better looking characters than another (Windows Vista has a whole set of new fonts coming) then that OS will win with most users who aren’t geeks. [...]

  43. The reason why Linux isn’t more popular is because of the fonts?

    Isn’t that like saying that the reason why an ugly, obese, diseased, ill-tempered, toothless hag with halitosis isn’t more popular is because… she has halitosis? :-)

  44. The reason why Linux isn’t more popular is because of the fonts?

    Isn’t that like saying that the reason why an ugly, obese, diseased, ill-tempered, toothless hag with halitosis isn’t more popular is because… she has halitosis? :-)

  45. Mac Beach: regarding msttcorefonts, the EULA from the fonts says:

    “You may reproduce and distribute an unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided that each copy shall be a true and complete copy, including all copyright and trademark notices, and shall be accompanied by a copy of this EULA.”

    So no, MS cannot “withdraw them from use at any time” :)

    Also, when you said “It was good of Microsoft, in the interest of Web-standard readability to make those fonts available.” note that MS removed them from their website; maybe this was really ‘Embrace, extend and extinguish’?

    Karim: ouch ^^;

    (hey… Linux isn’t the one with worms and viruses ;)

  46. Mac Beach: regarding msttcorefonts, the EULA from the fonts says:

    “You may reproduce and distribute an unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided that each copy shall be a true and complete copy, including all copyright and trademark notices, and shall be accompanied by a copy of this EULA.”

    So no, MS cannot “withdraw them from use at any time” :)

    Also, when you said “It was good of Microsoft, in the interest of Web-standard readability to make those fonts available.” note that MS removed them from their website; maybe this was really ‘Embrace, extend and extinguish’?

    Karim: ouch ^^;

    (hey… Linux isn’t the one with worms and viruses ;)

  47. just to agree with others here (yep, I’m being boring) the new Microsoft fonts, particularly in Office 2007 (I’ve not got a beta of Vista yet) are amazing..totally amazing, sure it takes a day or 2 to get use to them, but if anything for my liking will be Vistas trump card it’s going to be asthetics in fonts…they are really that good.

  48. just to agree with others here (yep, I’m being boring) the new Microsoft fonts, particularly in Office 2007 (I’ve not got a beta of Vista yet) are amazing..totally amazing, sure it takes a day or 2 to get use to them, but if anything for my liking will be Vistas trump card it’s going to be asthetics in fonts…they are really that good.

  49. I’m sorry, but I think you might have pulled this argument out of your ass. Maybe if someone had three computers set up (one Mac, one Windows, one Linux) they would find themselves gravitating towards the one with the nicer fonts, but as far as switching from one OS to another is concerned, I think that very few people would let the quality of the fonts be a factor in that decision.

    The #1 reason why Linux hasn’t seen any significant adoption on the desktop/laptop yet is that very few vendors sell it preinstalled. That’s all. Stop overcomplicating.

  50. I’m sorry, but I think you might have pulled this argument out of your ass. Maybe if someone had three computers set up (one Mac, one Windows, one Linux) they would find themselves gravitating towards the one with the nicer fonts, but as far as switching from one OS to another is concerned, I think that very few people would let the quality of the fonts be a factor in that decision.

    The #1 reason why Linux hasn’t seen any significant adoption on the desktop/laptop yet is that very few vendors sell it preinstalled. That’s all. Stop overcomplicating.

  51. I installed the “msttcorefonts” on my Ubuntu distro. It made a big difference… I also applied a couple of the new “C” fonts from Vista. (I like Consolas for fixed-width work).

    Fonts are my biggest gripe with *nix distros, and many websites. I like variations in fonts… it keeps things looking nice.

    But when the default fonts just do not render well enough (blurry, choppy, etc) then they need replacing.

  52. I installed the “msttcorefonts” on my Ubuntu distro. It made a big difference… I also applied a couple of the new “C” fonts from Vista. (I like Consolas for fixed-width work).

    Fonts are my biggest gripe with *nix distros, and many websites. I like variations in fonts… it keeps things looking nice.

    But when the default fonts just do not render well enough (blurry, choppy, etc) then they need replacing.

  53. from post #2
    … but it might require typing “installing microsoft fonts in ubuntu” into a Google search box.

    Your search – “installing microsoft fonts in ubuntu” – did not match any documents.

    ahem… You were saying ?

  54. from post #2
    … but it might require typing “installing microsoft fonts in ubuntu” into a Google search box.

    Your search – “installing microsoft fonts in ubuntu” – did not match any documents.

    ahem… You were saying ?

  55. [...] Great post from Scoble about why the biggest problem with Linux on the desktop is the lack of readable fonts. As he says: Why is this important? Name the #1 thing you look at most on your computer screen. For me it’s the characters on the screen. If one OS has better looking characters than another (Windows Vista has a whole set of new fonts coming) then that OS will win with most users who aren’t geeks. [...]

  56. When a Linux flavor comes preinstalled on an affordable box, Linux will take off as a desktop system. Free, stable, secure, and less attractive will trump expensive, unsecure, unstable, and pretty if the former is dumbed-down to the level of the latter.

  57. When a Linux flavor comes preinstalled on an affordable box, Linux will take off as a desktop system. Free, stable, secure, and less attractive will trump expensive, unsecure, unstable, and pretty if the former is dumbed-down to the level of the latter.

  58. J: you’ve gotta be joking. At Fry’s (I was just there) there are tons of Linux systems available. They are the cheapest systems out there. But the salespeople say most people don’t buy them.

    I’ll tell you why I don’t bite: they are ugly. Go into Fry’s and compare the fonts. They look like crap compared to Windows XP and Macintosh machines.

    So, your everyday person who doesn’t understand technology isn’t going to listen to you when you say “this machine rocks.” You simply won’t have any credibility and will sound like a nerdy weirdo.

  59. J: you’ve gotta be joking. At Fry’s (I was just there) there are tons of Linux systems available. They are the cheapest systems out there. But the salespeople say most people don’t buy them.

    I’ll tell you why I don’t bite: they are ugly. Go into Fry’s and compare the fonts. They look like crap compared to Windows XP and Macintosh machines.

    So, your everyday person who doesn’t understand technology isn’t going to listen to you when you say “this machine rocks.” You simply won’t have any credibility and will sound like a nerdy weirdo.

  60. npodges: this is why most companies don’t let developers run the business. If you think fonts don’t matter than you probably are also someone who runs a command line all day long. Translation: most people aren’t like you. This is why Linux has a miniscule marketshare on the desktop (and also why it dominates on server side, since servers don’t need UI and are run by guys who stare at command lines all day long).

  61. npodges: this is why most companies don’t let developers run the business. If you think fonts don’t matter than you probably are also someone who runs a command line all day long. Translation: most people aren’t like you. This is why Linux has a miniscule marketshare on the desktop (and also why it dominates on server side, since servers don’t need UI and are run by guys who stare at command lines all day long).

  62. R. S.,

    Obviously I’m out of my depth. Still, I, the epitome of an end user, ran Slackware exclusively for 5 years and had no problem with the “look”. The learning curve was a bitch back in the day, but the look wasn’t. I just can’t stand things that don’t work right, i.e., Windows, at least through XP. Still, and upon further reflection, your point is well taken. The most important aspect of marketing anything tends to be its cosmetic appeal. And that’s a shame.

  63. R. S.,

    Obviously I’m out of my depth. Still, I, the epitome of an end user, ran Slackware exclusively for 5 years and had no problem with the “look”. The learning curve was a bitch back in the day, but the look wasn’t. I just can’t stand things that don’t work right, i.e., Windows, at least through XP. Still, and upon further reflection, your point is well taken. The most important aspect of marketing anything tends to be its cosmetic appeal. And that’s a shame.

  64. J. I think that’s my retail knowledge coming through. I had people decide on a $3,000 camera purchase based on gut instinct of just picking the product up.

    When you go to Fry’s Linux looks ugly. Sorry, it does. Partly cause it’s always demoed on the cheapest machines (which are ugly in of themselves) but also partly cause of small things like fonts and UI elements.

  65. J. I think that’s my retail knowledge coming through. I had people decide on a $3,000 camera purchase based on gut instinct of just picking the product up.

    When you go to Fry’s Linux looks ugly. Sorry, it does. Partly cause it’s always demoed on the cheapest machines (which are ugly in of themselves) but also partly cause of small things like fonts and UI elements.

  66. The issue is not so much Linux as “free” systems. My Linux system is thoroughly equipped with a wide variety of fonts. They were separately licensed. They don’t come for free.

    For free, you get a few decent fonts like the publicly available Microsoft fonts, some fonts donated by Agfa/Monotype, etc. These are easy for a naive person to install. A properly configured Linux system will have acceptable fonts.

    The other factor (and it’s a big one) is that the average Linux distributor lacks graphical and presentation skills. This is something that can be fixed easily, but out of the box presentation varies widely. Only a few are reasonable without extra effort.

  67. The issue is not so much Linux as “free” systems. My Linux system is thoroughly equipped with a wide variety of fonts. They were separately licensed. They don’t come for free.

    For free, you get a few decent fonts like the publicly available Microsoft fonts, some fonts donated by Agfa/Monotype, etc. These are easy for a naive person to install. A properly configured Linux system will have acceptable fonts.

    The other factor (and it’s a big one) is that the average Linux distributor lacks graphical and presentation skills. This is something that can be fixed easily, but out of the box presentation varies widely. Only a few are reasonable without extra effort.

  68. [...] Why Linux will not win OK, it is pretty obvious I am not a fan of source available to hackers software, and that means Linux.  But I don’t wont to get religious here.  Scoble posted a pretty interesting angle on why Linux will not win.  I do not really bother with anything Linux, for two reasons, it is real expensive to get anything to actually work and I hate socializm.  Politics out of the way, Scoble believes that Linux will not win because it does not have a good set of fonts.  I think this is a valid point because the average user only looks at things, not appreciate the technical details.  Published Friday, August 18, 2006 4:53 PM by Chris Love Filed Under: Misc [...]

  69. I have managed to download regular fonts onto my Linux. But fonts are not the biggest reason turnoff I think…it’s the lack of wizards that are used on Linux. (I use Fedora 2 and 4 by the way on various comps in the apt.)

  70. I have managed to download regular fonts onto my Linux. But fonts are not the biggest reason turnoff I think…it’s the lack of wizards that are used on Linux. (I use Fedora 2 and 4 by the way on various comps in the apt.)

  71. I think it’s significant that the impediment to Linux adoption has devolved to fonts…meaning that installation/configuration has become a no-brainer. I just reinstalled XP (yet again – Registry Rot) and put Kubuntu on two machines and Kubuntu was a smoother install by far.

    Progress, not perfection.

  72. I think it’s significant that the impediment to Linux adoption has devolved to fonts…meaning that installation/configuration has become a no-brainer. I just reinstalled XP (yet again – Registry Rot) and put Kubuntu on two machines and Kubuntu was a smoother install by far.

    Progress, not perfection.

  73. The Bitstream Vera fonts are actually pretty good. You could see them on the terminal and panels on Ubuntu as the default Monospace and Sans, respectively.

    Problem is, Firefox and OpenOffice on Linux doesn’t default to them.

    Firefox still has Courier, Helvetica, and Times for monospace, sans-serif, and serif (instead of using the system default).

    OpenOffice has the Nimbus font series, which doesn’t look as good as the Bitstream Vera ones. But when you install the msttcorefonts package, they switch to the Microsoft fonts.

    It’s easy to fix these, but it’s unfortunate to know that Linux has some good fonts but they aren’t the default ones.

  74. The Bitstream Vera fonts are actually pretty good. You could see them on the terminal and panels on Ubuntu as the default Monospace and Sans, respectively.

    Problem is, Firefox and OpenOffice on Linux doesn’t default to them.

    Firefox still has Courier, Helvetica, and Times for monospace, sans-serif, and serif (instead of using the system default).

    OpenOffice has the Nimbus font series, which doesn’t look as good as the Bitstream Vera ones. But when you install the msttcorefonts package, they switch to the Microsoft fonts.

    It’s easy to fix these, but it’s unfortunate to know that Linux has some good fonts but they aren’t the default ones.

  75. Linux is Beautiful, or Why Robert Scoble Needs to Take Another Look

    Robert Scoble wrote an entry about what he sees as a reason Linux won’t be adopted by the masses as their desktop operating system: the fonts. I couldn’t disagree more with him. I’m looking at Gnome via SUSE Linux 10.1…

  76. Its not a Linux issue – its the distro that selects the default fonts for install.
    There are plenty of good fonts in Linux.

    Lazy, lazy blog comments

  77. Its not a Linux issue – its the distro that selects the default fonts for install.
    There are plenty of good fonts in Linux.

    Lazy, lazy blog comments

  78. “Bill told me that the guy who decided to invest in fonts on Windows was another Bill. You might have heard of him. I think that decision will turn out to be the smartest “keep Windows important” move Gates ever made.”

    Well, just to throw some gasoline on the OS war flames :)

    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

    The june 12 2005 commencement adress of Stanford by Steve Jobs, in which he describes his random choice to take calligraphy classes in college as the reason why the original Macs had proper fonts – and Windows just rips off Macs, so that’s why Windows has proper fonts :)

  79. “Bill told me that the guy who decided to invest in fonts on Windows was another Bill. You might have heard of him. I think that decision will turn out to be the smartest “keep Windows important” move Gates ever made.”

    Well, just to throw some gasoline on the OS war flames :)

    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

    The june 12 2005 commencement adress of Stanford by Steve Jobs, in which he describes his random choice to take calligraphy classes in college as the reason why the original Macs had proper fonts – and Windows just rips off Macs, so that’s why Windows has proper fonts :)

  80. That blog-entry is plain crap. 1) Linux has anti-aliasing and hinting capabilities, already. It has had them for many years. 2) We already have Bitstream Vera -fonts and they are default font in many Linux-ditributions. 3) Some people took those Bitstream Vera -fonts and started to extend them. That project is called DejaVu: http://dejavu.sf.net/ . They are now becoming the default in many Linux-distributions.

  81. That blog-entry is plain crap. 1) Linux has anti-aliasing and hinting capabilities, already. It has had them for many years. 2) We already have Bitstream Vera -fonts and they are default font in many Linux-ditributions. 3) Some people took those Bitstream Vera -fonts and started to extend them. That project is called DejaVu: http://dejavu.sf.net/ . They are now becoming the default in many Linux-distributions.

  82. 4) BTW those fonts of Windows Vista are still vaporware or at least beta just like the Vista itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Windows_Vista_typefaces

    And at least Consolas is such a crap in its beta version that it will probably be such crap also in final Windows Vista:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolas

    Those idiots at M$ made that font so that it looks good only when ClearType is enabled. What a crap!

    5) We already have many open-sourced but high-quality fonts also for exotic languages:

    http://www.unifont.org/fontguide/

    6) What you say about Matthew Carter is not wrong but quite misleading: The most important parts of his font family called Bitstream Charter has been freely available many years in X Window System, because Bitstream donated them. Those fonts are also as Type 1 font, so they look good with antialiasing and. Some people took them and extended their glyph collection. That new font family based on Charter is called Charis SIL:

    http://scripts.sil.org/CharisSILfont

  83. 4) BTW those fonts of Windows Vista are still vaporware or at least beta just like the Vista itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Windows_Vista_typefaces

    And at least Consolas is such a crap in its beta version that it will probably be such crap also in final Windows Vista:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolas

    Those idiots at M$ made that font so that it looks good only when ClearType is enabled. What a crap!

    5) We already have many open-sourced but high-quality fonts also for exotic languages:

    http://www.unifont.org/fontguide/

    6) What you say about Matthew Carter is not wrong but quite misleading: The most important parts of his font family called Bitstream Charter has been freely available many years in X Window System, because Bitstream donated them. Those fonts are also as Type 1 font, so they look good with antialiasing and. Some people took them and extended their glyph collection. That new font family based on Charter is called Charis SIL:

    http://scripts.sil.org/CharisSILfont

  84. And there have been excellent free fonts around for as long as I can remember. Christ, I see GoodDog Cool on billboards these days.

    Even now, with the amount of work required for Unicode fonts, there are still projects like DejaVu, Linux Libertine (http://linuxlibertine.sourceforge.net/), and Gentium (http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium). Gentium in particular is just lovely, and I use it as my default in most cases.

  85. And there have been excellent free fonts around for as long as I can remember. Christ, I see GoodDog Cool on billboards these days.

    Even now, with the amount of work required for Unicode fonts, there are still projects like DejaVu, Linux Libertine (http://linuxlibertine.sourceforge.net/), and Gentium (http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium). Gentium in particular is just lovely, and I use it as my default in most cases.

  86. [...] For your reading pleasure, Robert Scoble published a bit on why Linux is not ready for prime time: Fonts.  His article is an interesting read as he goes into the tremendous expense involved in creating decent fonts.  Who knew?  So why is it that every office application and browser defaults to Times Roman?  At least reading him and his comments prompted me to change the Firefox setting.  Is Verdana that much different than Arial? [...]

  87. Remark #35 is my situation and I spend most of my time in the Ubuntu partition of my oldest computer: “…if someone had three computers set up (one Mac, one Windows, one Linux) they would find themselves gravitating towards the one with the nicer fonts.”
    Configurations and hardware can be so different that nobody can simply dismiss another’s complaints as wrong. In fact, I did a complete reinstall of Ubuntu because something borked my font rendering!
    “Best shape” rendering works best for me, and URW Bookman as default (overriding page-specified) is awesome in Firefox.
    I’ve read that Ubuntu Edgy is more attentive to looks. Certainly, a single app/interface that gives one access to every tweak in font rendering would be a BIG help.

  88. Remark #35 is my situation and I spend most of my time in the Ubuntu partition of my oldest computer: “…if someone had three computers set up (one Mac, one Windows, one Linux) they would find themselves gravitating towards the one with the nicer fonts.”
    Configurations and hardware can be so different that nobody can simply dismiss another’s complaints as wrong. In fact, I did a complete reinstall of Ubuntu because something borked my font rendering!
    “Best shape” rendering works best for me, and URW Bookman as default (overriding page-specified) is awesome in Firefox.
    I’ve read that Ubuntu Edgy is more attentive to looks. Certainly, a single app/interface that gives one access to every tweak in font rendering would be a BIG help.

  89. [...] Why? This is a question many people try to answer in the last days. Most of them tried it by submitting articles, and some of the news systems these days published it. Most of the articles dealt with topics around Linux and tried to explain why Linux won’t do it in the long term. Like “Why Desktop Linux Will Not Take off, and Why You Don’t Want It to” or “Why Ubuntu Got It All Wrong”. Others like “The Portland project: No silver bullet for hairy problem of multiple desktops” had at elast no “Why” in their title, but the result was the same. In the blogger world you also find professionals searching for answers – some of them even try to bring it to a (strange) point: “Linux’ achilles heel: fonts”. [...]

  90. [...] This is similar to Scoble claiming that the reason Linux hasn’t taken off is because of the poor quality fonts. Okay, so he’s an aesthetic geek.  But it just goes to show that everyone is trying to come up with a reason why Linux isn’t making it. [...]

  91. Maybe another reason Linux isn’t taking off is that they don’t have any highly paid marketing guys working for them.

  92. Maybe another reason Linux isn’t taking off is that they don’t have any highly paid marketing guys working for them.

  93. This may be an outdated post, but i’ve been able to install all the fonts I was able to install on Windows into Ubuntu, so as far as i’m concerned nowadays Linux can handle those type of fonts.

  94. This may be an outdated post, but i’ve been able to install all the fonts I was able to install on Windows into Ubuntu, so as far as i’m concerned nowadays Linux can handle those type of fonts.

  95. Linux faltering due to fonts ONLY is a stretch, but a VERY large part of our perception of the world around us is visual, so I would have to agree that it plays a large part. Installing fonts is pretty painless in most linux distros so I don’t know what the fuss is.

    Linux has bigger problems than fonts though…..

  96. Linux faltering due to fonts ONLY is a stretch, but a VERY large part of our perception of the world around us is visual, so I would have to agree that it plays a large part. Installing fonts is pretty painless in most linux distros so I don’t know what the fuss is.

    Linux has bigger problems than fonts though…..

  97. Fonts are one of the reasons I *like* Linux.

    I used to agree with you, around Red Hat 7 & 8, but now both Fedora and Ubuntu’s fonts look much nicer on my laptop than on Windows.

    Actually, I’m on my work Windows machine right now. I tried switching my default font over to Tahoma, but it looked atrocious (blue lines between ll).

  98. Fonts are one of the reasons I *like* Linux.

    I used to agree with you, around Red Hat 7 & 8, but now both Fedora and Ubuntu’s fonts look much nicer on my laptop than on Windows.

    Actually, I’m on my work Windows machine right now. I tried switching my default font over to Tahoma, but it looked atrocious (blue lines between ll).

  99. I find that Mac beats Linux beats Windows in this area. I think fonts on Windows look terrible, and I’ve used the ClearType tweaking utility before. After using Linux, ClearType just looks blurry with random colors standing out around the edges.

  100. I find that Mac beats Linux beats Windows in this area. I think fonts on Windows look terrible, and I’ve used the ClearType tweaking utility before. After using Linux, ClearType just looks blurry with random colors standing out around the edges.

  101. Hello,

    If you try to use gnome, just change the fonts antialiasing setup and the fonts you use (in two clics that is)…

    I use gnome on my computers and have even better fonts and readability than in Windows or OSX… Linux is about choice. You can choose to have great fonts :)

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

  102. Hello,

    If you try to use gnome, just change the fonts antialiasing setup and the fonts you use (in two clics that is)…

    I use gnome on my computers and have even better fonts and readability than in Windows or OSX… Linux is about choice. You can choose to have great fonts :)

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

  103. Jeff, I’d like to see a few side-by-side picture comparisons of Windows, Mac, Linux Gnome, and Linux KDE fonts. Could you point out specifically what’s unreadable/readable about each in a followup?

  104. Jeff, I’d like to see a few side-by-side picture comparisons of Windows, Mac, Linux Gnome, and Linux KDE fonts. Could you point out specifically what’s unreadable/readable about each in a followup?

  105. What is wrong with the default Ubuntu font set (DejaVu)? I actually had installed the MS core fonts but removed them because I thought they looked worse than DejaVu. For example, some letters (like the ‘k’) used really thin lines with the MS fonts.

    Actually, Mr. Scoble, if you haven’t tried Linux in a while, you may be surprised now… Most distributions used to not enable the bytecode interpreter in FreeType by default (which allows hinting of glyphs), so all the fonts were ugly. I agree with you that this would definitely be an instant turn off for anyone trying Linux for the first time, and actually, that is what turned me away from Fedora originally and a big reason why I went with Ubuntu instead, where it was enabled by default. I think Fedora has it enabled also now.

    Also, Tim Bray was specifically talking about Emacs which uses different (uglier/aliased) fonts and has pretty much nothing to do with Linux in general. You can’t judge an entire OS based on one app.

  106. What is wrong with the default Ubuntu font set (DejaVu)? I actually had installed the MS core fonts but removed them because I thought they looked worse than DejaVu. For example, some letters (like the ‘k’) used really thin lines with the MS fonts.

    Actually, Mr. Scoble, if you haven’t tried Linux in a while, you may be surprised now… Most distributions used to not enable the bytecode interpreter in FreeType by default (which allows hinting of glyphs), so all the fonts were ugly. I agree with you that this would definitely be an instant turn off for anyone trying Linux for the first time, and actually, that is what turned me away from Fedora originally and a big reason why I went with Ubuntu instead, where it was enabled by default. I think Fedora has it enabled also now.

    Also, Tim Bray was specifically talking about Emacs which uses different (uglier/aliased) fonts and has pretty much nothing to do with Linux in general. You can’t judge an entire OS based on one app.

  107. [...] A Vista felülete nekem nagyon tetszik. Egyesek szerint randa és üveg az egész, mások szerint OSX lopás minden ami itt van. Ez engem nem érdekel mert nem fizetek érte (béta/rc/campus licensz). A Linux esetében az első ami feltűnik, az a szarabbul kinéző szöveg. Egész egyszerűen a Linuxon nem jelennek meg elég szépen és olvashatóan a szövegek. Ha nekem nem hiszel, higyj Scoble-nek. [...]

  108. I don’t know if you know this, but it’s quite easy to get perfect Mac OS X-like font rendering in Ubuntu/Kubuntu. Just so you know.

  109. I don’t know if you know this, but it’s quite easy to get perfect Mac OS X-like font rendering in Ubuntu/Kubuntu. Just so you know.

  110. >it’s quite easy to get perfect Mac OS X-like font rendering in Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

    Only if you know nothing about kerning and hinting. And only if you never saw ClearType on a DVI monitor, and Vista’s or .NET 3.0 ClearType in particular.

    Linux will never catch up, unless someone pours *millions* of real $$$ in OSS font and typography.

  111. >it’s quite easy to get perfect Mac OS X-like font rendering in Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

    Only if you know nothing about kerning and hinting. And only if you never saw ClearType on a DVI monitor, and Vista’s or .NET 3.0 ClearType in particular.

    Linux will never catch up, unless someone pours *millions* of real $$$ in OSS font and typography.

  112. Who still needs hinting with today’s high resolution displays?
    All you need is a proper display, a font engine (font rasterizer) that does antialiasing and a good font.
    I like it when fonts are represented on-screen like how they’re actually supposed to look. All hinting methods destroy the actual character shapes and screw up the font kerning (more on low quality fonts or with custom hinters of course).

    The solution for “better looking” fonts lies in the display technology. We need higher resolution and PPI (DPI) and that’s all.

    This blog entry is utter junk by the way. :/

    – Bill

  113. Who still needs hinting with today’s high resolution displays?
    All you need is a proper display, a font engine (font rasterizer) that does antialiasing and a good font.
    I like it when fonts are represented on-screen like how they’re actually supposed to look. All hinting methods destroy the actual character shapes and screw up the font kerning (more on low quality fonts or with custom hinters of course).

    The solution for “better looking” fonts lies in the display technology. We need higher resolution and PPI (DPI) and that’s all.

    This blog entry is utter junk by the way. :/

    – Bill

  114. I’m running Linux Mint 4.0 with Microsoft TrueType fonts installed. Looks better than Windows, which I used for many years before migrating. And they were a breeze to install too.

  115. I’m running Linux Mint 4.0 with Microsoft TrueType fonts installed. Looks better than Windows, which I used for many years before migrating. And they were a breeze to install too.

  116. linux font is so dirty , I have linux on my system and it puts me down. I am sick of using the system. It makes me shut down the system as early as possible.

  117. linux font is so dirty , I have linux on my system and it puts me down. I am sick of using the system. It makes me shut down the system as early as possible.

  118. While I am a big friend of Linux and have been using it for about a decade I was never impressed by the fonts.

    Now, in 2008, I am still not very satisfied – I have a big choice of fonts, included MS TTF fonts, and I can chose to use anti-aliasing or not, varying degrees of hinting etc. But nothing works to my satisfaction!

    With anti-aliasing enabled under Linux, I get dizzy and I find that the fonts look “too thick”. That’s why I always (in the end) turn anti-aliasing off again; result: I get less dizziness but also somewhat “scratchy”, dirty fonts.

    Now if I compare the appearance of a blog or a forum or whatever web site when reading under Linux to doing the same under Windows XP, I must confess (not the slightest doubt about it!):
    The XP fonts with anti-aliasing turned on look SOOO much better and cause considerably less strain on my eyes!

    In the course of the years I found myself more often than before using Windows more – just because of the so much better fonts! This is with a CRT monitor.

    I recently checked out an interesting live CD called goblinx which claims to be a distro dedicated to beauty on the desktop – well, I found the fonts rather blurry and hard on my eyes, while, in fact, on a TFT they really looked nice and didn’t cause so much strain on my eyes.

    Nevertheless, CRT or TFT, I always find fonts better under Windows, better looking and more healthy to my eyes.

    Would love a different result, but sadly this is my honest conclusion.

  119. While I am a big friend of Linux and have been using it for about a decade I was never impressed by the fonts.

    Now, in 2008, I am still not very satisfied – I have a big choice of fonts, included MS TTF fonts, and I can chose to use anti-aliasing or not, varying degrees of hinting etc. But nothing works to my satisfaction!

    With anti-aliasing enabled under Linux, I get dizzy and I find that the fonts look “too thick”. That’s why I always (in the end) turn anti-aliasing off again; result: I get less dizziness but also somewhat “scratchy”, dirty fonts.

    Now if I compare the appearance of a blog or a forum or whatever web site when reading under Linux to doing the same under Windows XP, I must confess (not the slightest doubt about it!):
    The XP fonts with anti-aliasing turned on look SOOO much better and cause considerably less strain on my eyes!

    In the course of the years I found myself more often than before using Windows more – just because of the so much better fonts! This is with a CRT monitor.

    I recently checked out an interesting live CD called goblinx which claims to be a distro dedicated to beauty on the desktop – well, I found the fonts rather blurry and hard on my eyes, while, in fact, on a TFT they really looked nice and didn’t cause so much strain on my eyes.

    Nevertheless, CRT or TFT, I always find fonts better under Windows, better looking and more healthy to my eyes.

    Would love a different result, but sadly this is my honest conclusion.

  120. Font’s were the exact reason that I stopped using linux, I used to search online few years back to see if anybody complains about them, I even posted screenshot’s of windows and KDE fonts on linux forums asking for a solution(you could imagine how that would have went).

    I am glad atlast there are articles on the web about linux font issues (no disrespect, but they look what we get for $0).

  121. Font’s were the exact reason that I stopped using linux, I used to search online few years back to see if anybody complains about them, I even posted screenshot’s of windows and KDE fonts on linux forums asking for a solution(you could imagine how that would have went).

    I am glad atlast there are articles on the web about linux font issues (no disrespect, but they look what we get for $0).