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Old 09-02-08, 07:01 AM   #1
Pellaeon
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17
Default Bitmap fonts render slowly in KDE/Qt 4 apps (with 177.77 and older)

While the new 177.xx drivers and their new options have made life in KDE 4 that much more enjoyable already, one long-standing issue continues to persist for me: The rendering of bitmap fonts such as the highly-popular Terminus is significantly slower than rendering scalable TrueType/OpenType fonts in KDE/Qt 4 applications.

While 177.xx has improved on this over older drivers, the difference is still quite noticable when using a bitmap font in Konsole (terminal emulator) or Kate (advanced text editor) and performing operations such as tab switching or page-wise scrolling. In Konsole, when using a bitmap font on a Core 2 E6600 at 3.2 Ghz with a GeForce 8800 GTX, switching tabs full of text can take more than second at large window sizes, while it feels instantaneous when using a scalable font. Resizing a Konsole window with bitmap font text is also rather sluggish, compared to the scalable font case.

While I realize that bitmap fonts are not the technological state of the art today, I personally prefer not to use anti-aliasing at smaller font sizes, and the inherently hand-hinted nature of bitmap fonts produces excellent, sharp-looking results in that scenario. Many coders I know feel the same. With the recent rampage of KDE/Qt 4-related performance fixes in the drivers (yay!), it'd be very cool if the bitmap font problem could get some attention as well.
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