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Choice of fonts - new fonts are less legible than old ones


Mikael Kalms
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Hi,

 

I have only used PlasticX for a few minutes. Would like to point out that the fonts used - and perhaps the alignment strategy for these - makes text smudged.

Left side is text from Plastic.  Right side is text from PlasticX. I have screenshotted both applications and zoomed results to 400% using nearest neighbor interpolation.

image.thumb.png.bda9fdcc2204a6672c9c91606ad65175.png

 

I perceive text in views where each letter is important - for example, filename column in the Workspace Explorer - as more difficult to read with the new font.

 

 

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The new font looks a little blurry for me (full HD monitor) as well, but on the other hand, old plastic may look a tiny bit too sharp-pixelated. Fonts are tough. :D

image.png.9dc395e9fed9833fb01a4aaa7a226538.png

But the blurriness is most noticeable with bold text, look at the letter 'e' in this screenshot, for example:
image.png.3d877480d6170c48e2cb1c348ba8eccb.png
This is original size and you can see how the e is almost a blob, as if the normal font was artificially bolded in code instead of having its own type face.

Larger size:
image.png.7fcf2865b1e7e1740db26c56108855fb.png

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Hi @Mikael Kalms @Xarbrough thank you for your feedback.

The old Windows GUI used the native Segoe UI. Segoe UI is optimized for ClearType, which is on by default in Windows. This is why you may find the font somewhat more readable in the old GUI.

New GUI uses Inter font, that is a pretty standard font in new UI designs. The choice of the font is to follow the Unity App Framework font guidelines, and to maintain a consistent visual style between the supported platforms (macOS, Linux and Windows). We use that font in the three platforms.

@Xarbrough you're right. Fonts are tough. Depending on the DPI resolution, the monitor, and the contrast you're using, sometimes fonts are more (or less) readable. We rely an Avalonia framework, that uses Skia font rendering (the same 2D drawing engine that uses Chrome) so I'm afraid there is little we can do in this matter.

That said, maybe we can improve readability in the light theme by giving a little more contrast to the text with respect to the background.

I'll do that for future releases.

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Hello,

I had the same experience than @Mikael Kalms as soon as I launch PlasticX GUI the font rendering gave me a very bad impression. It looks poor compared to user GUI I am using on Windows, and it look poor compared to the regular Plastic GUI. It feels very blurry.

@Daniel Peñalba I do not think it is related to Skia renderering because Chrome does have better font rendering than PlasticX on Windows too.

image.thumb.png.603e59e8a75fdd2519e386077d6157db.png

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@mdel

Thank you for your feedback. Left font (Chrome) it's "Segoe UI" and right font (Plasticx) is "Inter". The rendering of each font is different (Chrome uses ClearType antialiasing), so it makes sense there is a difference.

image.thumb.png.d36d95d1b195681a9697e8ea2486e6a2.png

So thank you for the report. We are going to:

1) Make the text darker to improve readability.

2) Try to enable ClearType font rendering in our app.

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@Daniel Peñalba in your example we can see the font are different but also Chrome - Segoe UI is using subpixel rendering (we can see different color) which is not the case of PlasticX.

Also I am curious, why not to use the default system font? It looks to me the default design choice for mainstream crossplatform application (like Internet Browser)

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We're trying to bring the ClearType (subpixel) font drawing to PlasticX.

Regarding the font chosen, we use Inter font, that is a pretty standard font in new UI designs. The choice of the font is to follow the Unity App Framework font guidelines, and to maintain a consistent visual style between the supported platforms (macOS, Linux and Windows).

Believe me that the font is much more readable on mac than on windows (in macOS the subpixel drawing is correctly done). Once we fix subpixel drawing in windows it will look much better.

In any case, we may setup some options to allow to change customize the font just in case users feel more comfortable using the system font.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not a visibility issue, but another font issue.
There is also a problem with the Korean notation. (It is impossible to change the language because it rollback to ko even if the client.conf file is changed.)

 

image.thumb.png.f2cf63b814bd560b970618fdeb6d08f5.png

It's not an encoding issue. If you copy and paste the "Properties" section in the lower right corner, it will be printed normally.

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@yonggyun, thank you for the report.

As you already may noticed, unicode chars are not fully supported yet. As you can see there are some issues rendering them in Avalonia (just for textboxes, the textblocks work fine). So in short, there is no support for double byte languages yet, but it should come soon. Avalonia is on it's way of supporting IME and rendering, but it's not ready yet.

In the meantime we will review the client.conf issue just you to be able to use it in english. Just to clarify the issue: what you're reporting is that you're trying to setup EN language, but it is always reverted to KO. Is that right? (I'm assuming that KO is your OS language).

And could you also clarify this one?

Quote

It's not an encoding issue. If you copy and paste the "Properties" section in the lower right corner, it will be printed normally.

What do you mean by "the lower right corner"?

Thanks!

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Quote

In the meantime we will review the client.conf issue just you to be able to use it in english. Just to clarify the issue: what you're reporting is that you're trying to setup EN language, but it is always reverted to KO. Is that right? (I'm assuming that KO is your OS language).

right. After I excute plastic scm, the config file in that file goes back to "ko"

 

Quote

What do you mean by "the lower right corner"?

I was talking about the broken text in the lower right part of the screenshot. nevermind.

 

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  • 2 months later...

hi @Daniel Peñalba, I am running in the same issue about the broken text(turned into unreadable code) like the lower right part of the screenshot that @yonggyun posted above. In my situation, the broken text  are on the checkin text box.

I am using a quite latest version plastic client cloud edition, and I am sure the config file's language setting is matching with my OS language, is that a support font issue?

anyone have idea about how to fix this? thanks.

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Hi @dylz thank you for reporting this. The version of Avalonia UI (the UI framework we use to build Plastic) we're using, doesn't support double byte chars yet. 

Good news is that Avalonia already implemented double byte support, so we just need to upgrade so Plastic will support it really soon.

Thanks you for your patient, we'll try to get it ready as soon as possible 😉

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