Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds
In firefox 4 beta the font rendering is terrible. text looks faded and blurry.
It has been like this since they enabled hardware acceleration in beta 4 or 5
It is so bad that I can't stand Firefox 4 any more and don't use it. What I don't understand is that IE9 also uses hardware acceleration and the text looks fine in that. So it can't be a windows issue.
I know I can disable hardware acceleration but I would rather they fix the issue.
Does anyone know if this serious bug will ever get fixed?
I've even tried the latest minefield builds and the issue has not been fixed in those either.
I've used firefox for around 5 years now and because of this bug I may have to eventually stop using firefox altogether. In fact I think a lot of people will stop using firefox if this isn't fixed because they will upgrade to firefox 4, see how horrible it looks then end up uninstalling it.
It's apparently a Micro$oft DirectWrite bug.
Mozilla won't and everyone will bitch about it, and the world will keep spinning while Firefox starts its decline.
So it is a windows issue.
After comparing a website on both firefox and IE9 in standards mode it seems that the page looks just as horrible in IE9.
If MS don't fix this issue by the time Firefox 4 is officially released then Mozilla should seriously consider disabling hardware acceleration by default otherwise people will think the problem is firefox like I did and stop using it.
I have no source, no inside info, etc etc.. But can tell you it will absolutely be fixed via some type of Windows update before 4.0 is released.
Laptop: Primary, ASUS 15.6", i5 SB, 6gb, 540M - Win7
IE9 is working around the problem by disabling DirectWrite which suggests that MS doesn't care to fix it anytime soon. If MS planned to fix it before IE9 ships then they would have IE9 always use DW like FF4 does.
Also, Mozilla has put a lot of effort into making FF4 fast to catch up to/surpass the competition so it's highly unlikely that they will disable one of the major new features that makes the browser faster.
That's not how Microsoft works.
When they plan to fix something that's not a security issue, the fix lands around the same time that the product goes out. Which means, if the do decide to fix it, its going to be a hotfix that lands around the time that IE9 ships.
IE9 also disabled DirectWrite on compatibility mode because the older Trident emulation wasn't built to take advantage of HW acceleration. IF it was THAT terrible, they wouldn't have used it at all.
Latest: Firefox/51.0.1 *ESR/45.7.0 - Mobile/50.1.0 - Thunderbird/45.7.0 - SeaMonkey/2.46
Nightly: Nightly/54.0a1 - Mobile/54.0a1 - Daily/50.0a1 - SeaMonkey/2.49a1
agreed. The fonts are seriously gonna hurt people's eyesight, it would be irresponsible to push it out like that, even if the root problem is with MS.
On a side, note, with beta8, the problem didn't show up on NV graphic card, I have no idea if this is an AMD only problem.
My laptops an AMD with a ATI radeon graphics card so could possibly be an AMD only problem.
I really hope MS do fix the issue but if they don't then it will seriously hurt firefox's market share if they leave hardware acceleration on by default. There are a lot of people with AMD cards and they will wrongly think the problem is firefox like I did
Buy a Mac.
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Seriously though, I hope MS has revised algorithms for this ready in time for Firefox 4 Final, but I wouldn't have my hopes up. If not, the criticisms heard during these Firefox 4 Betas will be nothing compared to what will come. People won't care for if it's Mozilla's or Microsoft's fault - all they'll wonder is why the rendering looks so bad and why the graphics acceleration is so important for them that it'll come at this cost. It's surprising that MS even let IE9 suffer from this, so a theory is that it'll be fixed in time for the final IE9 release, whenever that is. For once, it could even be good if it's released before Firefox 4, for that reason.
Mozilla certainly will talk about millions of Fx4 downloads in the first day/week.
I wonder, however, if they'll keep track of the number uninstalls or unused installs because of the horrible font rendering...
Can anyone link me to a side-by-side of something properly and improperly rendered?
Could be, I'm on an nVIDIA card and fonts look good to me.
"Proper" isn't a good word. Text rendering is very subjective and the final look also varies depending on what display hardware you're using.
Overall DW font rendering looks fine to me. One little nitpick I have with DW is that sometimes W's appear very thin and different W's in a block of text using the same font/size might render "normal" while others are "thin".
Here's a screenshot of DW enabled on top vs DW disabled on bottom (ClearType always enabled).
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