.comment: Ain't Anti-Aliasing Amazing? - page 3
The Kindness of Strangers
Not all of my weekend of delight was due to the anti-aliasing stuff or my attempts to make it work. I was running Linux-2.4.0-test12, which brought total machine lockups to the Linux world (I'm given to understand that test13-pre3 fixed this, but I've gone back to test11 until test13 appears--the pre series is too fine a granularity for me). This added to the fun, in that lockups during compiles give e2fsck the fantods. But all of what follows is due to my stab at an anti-aliased KDE2.
Let us, for brevity's sake, omit the experimentation that led to the recipe cited above. So long, Friday and Saturday. By Sunday I had done the above, in order, and had anti-aliased KDE2, sort of. (If you don't make and install freetype2, and then add the host.def file, and then build and installXFree86-4.02, you're, um, screwed, which information I did not find until Saturday afternoon.)
By "sort of" I mean that the desktop fonts were all anti-aliased--and all Helvetica. (As a member in good standing of the Society to Preserve What's Left of the Language, I'm compelled to make the distinction: a font is a typeface of a particular size. Hence, Times New Roman is a typeface, while Times New Roman 14 is a font.) This was nice, but it would be nice, too, to look at other typefaces in all their anti-aliased glory. In KDE2 this is performed in a number of ways, easiest being KMenu > Preferences > Look & Feel > Fonts, then clicking on one of the Choose buttons.
The screenshots demonstrate the problem perfectly. Where once the choices were many, now they were none. It was a disaster.
Okay. Maybe I'd done something wrong. So I rebuilt the whole mess, all over again, taking special care with it. I'd also dropped a note on the kde-devel list, which produced a lot of moral support ("It's working fine here.") and some suggestions that, alas, produced no change.
I went back over all the documentation I could find, plus some that had been suggested to me. I tried all the possibilities I could think of. I recompiled all of KDE2--which in and of itself takes many hours. No joy. I found a mailing list message that suggested that the -no-opengl configure option when building qt was essential. So I rebuilt qt, adding that option to all the rest. The net effect? A not wholly unexpected ld.so barf--requiring yet another recompile of all of KDE2. And when I fired it up--no improvement. (And by now occasional anxious taps on my office door by my wife, who might have wondered if I had died or, worse, was loading up in a fiendish plan of the sort we read in the tabloids where someone--perhaps driven by anti-aliasing--loads up and shoots the family at holiday time.)
It was Christmas Eve, and I was doing battle with the computer. I dropped a plea to Keith Packard who, perhaps sensing my desperation, responded:
"KDE is busted--it uses the X font list to build *some*, but not all, of it's own dialogs. The easy fix is to add the TrueType fonts to the core server listing; make sure 'freetype' is loaded in the server, run 'ttmkfdir' and xset fp+ /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype."
Which I did, insofar as I could figure it out. The phrase "core server listing" was a bit of a cypher. I figured I could wade around in the KDE2 source and figure out where it got its typefaces, in that there's a
$KDEDIR/share/fonts directory. Nope. Late that evening I sent a note to Waldo Bastian, one of the KDE mainstays, asking him if he could help sort it out. He figured it meant adding the TrueType directory to my
/etc/X11/XF86Config. Alas, I'd already done that. So I dropped a follow-up to Keith, baring my abject ignorance. On Christmas morning he responded:
# ttmkfdir > fonts.scale
$ xset fp+ /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype
Oh, to be able to say that this made any difference.
It didn't. In that the kernel now provides some functionality traditionally supplied by XFree86, I thought that rebuilding it might be in order. No luck.
(Meanwhile, more family members were knocking timidly on my office door, curious as to whether I would replenish the wood in the fireplace. A crash of test12 had somehow nuked much of my KDE2 configuration. There are days when control of lightning should not be entrusted to me, and this was among them.)
But I had given myself a Christmas present. I'd remembered to back up my unaltered qt-2.2.3, and I always keep the last three kernels in lilo. I booted test11 and changed the symlink to an un-xft-enhanced qt (complete with opengl, thanks). The machine is reliable and, truth be told, I don't see much of a difference.
Solid state disks (SSDs) made a splash in consumer technology, and now the technology has its eyes on the enterprise storage market. Download this eBook to see what SSDs can do for your infrastructure and review the pros and cons of this potentially game-changing storage technology.
- 1Linux Top 3: GNOME 3.12 and New Betas for Ubuntu 14.04 and OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0
- 2Linux Top 3: Linux 3.10 Goes Long, Linux 3.11 Advances as LXDE Merges
- 3Linux Top 3: Linus Lashes out, Linux 3.14 Gets PIE and Ubuntu One is Done.
- 4Why Linux is Super (Computing)
- 5Linux Top 3: Ubuntu 14.04, Debian Gives Squeeze More Life and Red Hat Goes Atomic