Mac rendering on Windows

Si_Daniels's picture

Just installed the Safari Beta on an WinXP machine, not sure if the rendering is exactly the same as Mac OS, but it looks close. I wonder how people will react, at first glance the ice cubes may be a bit furry.

clauses's picture

Huh? Are you talking about the rendering of type or HTML? And if it's the fonts you are talking about, do you then mean that the rendering is like that on OS X instead of Vistas Cleartype. And if so, could you post comparative screenshots?

Si_Daniels's picture

The text rendering, the fonts.

>do you then mean that the rendering is like that on OS X instead of Vistas Cleartype.

Yes.

>And if so, could you post comparative screenshots?

Will do.

Si_Daniels's picture

In the Jungle...

IE7...

Si_Daniels's picture

The rasterizer folks don't think the rendering style is natively possible in Windows, so specualte Quartz has been ported across. On the plus side Windows based type designers can use the browser to proof their type without buying a Mac ;-)

canderson's picture

I don't know about Quartz, but it does include a copy of Lucida Grande...

C:\Program Files\Safari\Safari.resources\Lucida Grande.ttf.

It looks like Safari does use it as well, for example in the location bar.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

but its not .OTF

hmm...

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

It took me second to grasp what "in the jungle" meant.... hahahah

Mikey

canderson's picture

Hmm. There are files labeled CoreFoundation.dll and CoreGraphics.dll. This could mean that the ported some or all of those APIs to Windoze. Below is an actual dialog from Safari for Windows showing what appear to be Macintosh control widgets. This could mean that Apple plans to make it easier for Macintosh developers to port their applications to Windows.

hrant's picture

If I ever make a dictionary, the entry for "retarded" will be this.

hhp

blank's picture

I don’t know that I would go as far as retarded, but porting over the Core Graphics APIs does strike me as someone taking branding a little too far.

Si_Daniels's picture

>C:\Program Files\Safari\Safari.resources\Lucida Grande.ttf.

I noticed the Lucida, wasn't sure if they used the Lucida Unicode installed on every Windows machine, but your sleuthing reveals all. I also think Lucida is used as the defalt sans-serif font for Web pages and not just UI, which is nice. Well done Chuck!

Obvious question, does Windows iTunes use the same rendering?

canderson's picture

If I ever make a dictionary, the entry for “retarded” will be this.

This sort of topic, for some Typophiles, may be on the edge of relevancy. Since it's pertinence is not obvious to experts in type aesthetics and history it should, arguably, be moved to "Build" since it is somewhat technical.

If Apple did make the Mac text-rendering APIs available to the Windows platform, it would be a significant development. There are arguably, four major font rasterizers, and this might make them all available on the same system.

hrant's picture

The topic is brilliant - especially to me, a screenfont junkie.
Apple's move is what's retarded.

hhp

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Even though Apple seems to make zero profit from Safari itself, bring it to Windoze will help proliferate more apps for the iPhony.

As a sidenote... Sun has open sourced their Solaris operating system in the hope that more people will look at their servers... its working.

Its a trojan horse... we'll just have to wait and see if it really works for Apple.

Mike Diaz

aluminum's picture

Retarded? Apple has done some crazy stuff. Often, most everything they do is met with immediate hostility. That said, a good chunk of their craziness succeeds. So, perhaps retarded like a fox.

I doubt porting Safari was their main goal. There is more to this that we know at this point. iPhone support seems to be the leading theory.

canderson's picture

I don't see this as a product for Windows users, but rather as a demonstration for Macintosh developers. Do software vendors really want Windows programs to look like Macintosh programs? That may well be a dubious goal.

hrant's picture

> I don’t see this as a product for Windows users

I hope against hope that everybody agrees.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

Some "press" reaction to the rendering, most don't like it -

http://www.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d&q=safari+font

And what's with the "no, you're retarded" and "windoze" jibes? Last week of school? ;-)

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I said iPhony to be fair.

vinceconnare's picture

total shite... it's a fuzzy mess and what a crap tool bar. Firefox rules.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93279914@N00/542631803/

runs on a mac with Vista like s-hit-e

ultrasparky's picture

Even though Apple seems to make zero profit from Safari itself, bring it to Windoze will help proliferate more apps for the iPhony.

Actually, it turns out they make some decent money off Safari, which will increase if more Windows user switch to Safari. It turns out that when you use an integrated search bar in a browser like Safari or Firefox, the browser maker gets a cut of the ad revenue from the search results:

http://daringfireball.net/2007/06/wwdc_2007_keynote

It's still a shame, though, that Windows Safari bypasses Cleartype.

hrant's picture

Mais oui, hubris oblige!

hhp

clauses's picture

I HATE Cleartype. I think it's crap, and the legibility tests Microsoft do are bordering on ridiculous. More on the topic here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/06/12.html?hi=joel

Even though Apple seems to make zero profit from Safari itself, bring it to Windoze will help proliferate more apps for the iPhony.

Apple makes a profit from Google every time you use the Google search field in Safari. How do you think Firefox makes money? Same way. And if Apple can bump Safari marketshare from 5% to 10% (not at all unrealistic) then they achieve critical mass on the marketplace and double their profits from Safari.

Si_Daniels's picture

If I were to spend all day admiring web pages and documents maybe I'd prefer the Apple approach. But I spend 90% of my day reading stuff off of the screen. It's obvious you fall into the first camp as you didn't read the article... ;-)

"The advantage of Microsoft's method is that it works better for on-screen reading."

"Typically, Apple chose the stylish route, putting art above practicality..."

Cheers, Si

clauses's picture

“The advantage of Microsoft’s method is that it works better for on-screen reading.”
“Typically, Apple chose the stylish route, putting art above practicality…”

The writer's (typically delusional) opinion, and I restate that I completely disagree.

Si_Daniels's picture

Ah, when making an argument I tend to point to articles that support my opinion rather than those to which I completely disagree.

However, as I'm not sure what your point is, except that you don't like ClearType, I can't really help.

Christian Robertson's picture

That's a great article on the difference between Apple and Microsoft rendering technologies. I have to admit that it's a little weird to see Apple's type renderer in a Windows context. It reminded me of the first time I installed linux on an old beige mac and was presented with a black screen full of ugly type on my Apple display. Weird.

I will say, though, that as a long time Apple user, screen designer, and type designer, I can't stand looking at type on Windows. I can see how the green monospaced type crowd might like Windows type rendering better, though.

I would argue about the "better for on screen reading" thing as well, but then this would devolve into an infamous typophile "readability" debate, where everyone cites the best evidence they have: what they personally like better. At any rate, crispness does not readability make.

Si_Daniels's picture

I’d agree that user preference, and user expectations are at the root of the issue. But anecdotally, when Apple released bootcamp, and after reading various blog entries on parallels and similar virtualization technologies on the Mac, I’ve seen only a handful of comments from Apple fanboys about Windows font rendering. Contrast this with the near-universal chorus of complaints from the Safari early adaptors. What explains the disparity in reviewer's intolerance?

clauses's picture

Ah, when making an argument I tend to point to articles that support my opinion rather than those to which I completely disagree.

I make my own arguments, and I'm certainly not afraid of referring to other views than my own. The article has a nice explanation and illustration.

However, as I’m not sure what your point is, except that you don’t like ClearType, I can’t really help.

I don't need your help.

More comparative screenshots here:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=safari+windows+ie

Looking at this: http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=157343097&size=o
Who would prefer the Cleartype rendering?

Si_Daniels's picture

>I don’t need your help.

I suppose I take "typographic collaboration" seriously ;-)

Christian Robertson's picture

I'm not sure that the Bootcamp/Safari comparison is a good one. When people look at a web browser the first question is "How does it render stuff?" When people fire up Bootcamp, the type rendering is not necessarily the first question. (It's more like, "What's that little red shield? What, I don't have virus protection? How do I get it? I have to get a subscription?" - sorry, I couldn't resist). What's more, I think that most everybody who installed Bootcamp or parallels had a good idea of what Windows looked like before they installed.

That being said, I don't think it was a great idea to replace the default renderer, even though I like Apple's type much better. A good port should be a good citizen in its new environment and try to fit in. I don't think that Apple really intended to be a good windows citizen here, though, which might be the real root of the argument.

Si_Daniels's picture

> I don’t think that Apple really intended to be a good windows citizen here, though, which might be the real root of the argument.

I think you're right. Carl speculated that this may be the first step in providing the components that will make it easier for developers to port Mac apps to Windows.

blank's picture

Is there really any point to screenshots of Cleartype in action? With Cleartype being a subpixel rendering method, and screenshots being bitmaps of single pixels, isn’t quite a bit of information lost?

Si_Daniels's picture

No, ClearType, CoolType, Quartz don't work like that, they use the characteristics of the pixel to get more effective resolution, but all the information (RGB value) is contained in the pixel.

However, if you're looking at these screen grabs on a CRT, BGR monitor or LCD in non-native resolution, or if the image is compressed or distorted, then you won't see what we see.

The great thing about Safari is that it allows side by side comparison, and side by side font testing.

hrant's picture

> The great thing about Safari is that it allows side by side comparison

Yes, maybe once and for all we'll be able to separate the
reasonable Apple lovers from from the frothing berserkers.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

Carl, is that the new Extensis rasterizer, InvisiType? ;-)

hrant's picture

One step beyond the Uniglyph...

hhp

Christian Robertson's picture

Carl, I'm curious which four rasterizers you had in mind. Maybe this should be a new thread. It would be interesting to see a bunch of them head to head. These are the ones that I know of: Microsoft ClearType, Apple Quartz, Adobe (ATM?), Freetype, iType (Monotype), D-type (don't know if this is used anywere, but their samples look nice), Bitstream Font Fusion (never really seen this in action either, that I know of).

As for some other renderers: I really like the rasterizer Macromedia built into Fireworks with adjustable super-sampling, weight and sharpness. The new rasterizer for Flash is kind of a mess (see the insert image link at the bottom of the page). I really dislike the rasterizer that Adobe puts into its DTP apps. Photoshop anti-aliasing is mega-blurry, which is fine when you are going to print at 300dpi, but lousy for screen graphics. InDesign and Illustrator rely too much on hinting, distorting the type for on screen reading — bad for wysiwyg apps targeted at high res printers. It would be better for the type to show up a little blurrier, while giving a better sense of how the spacing and color are working out. I've been tricked more than once into kerning a hinted line of type in InDesign, only to discover upon zooming in/printing that I had been deceived by the hinting.

hrant's picture

Christian, I mostly agree, but I would like to see a general
admission that WYSIWYG is very bad for onsreen readability.

Also:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/93279914@N00/542631803/

hhp

blank's picture

Between this thread and the Parallels 3 release I finally decided to fire up Vista and look at Cleartype. It’s ok, but no more of a readability improvement than I get by just bumping up the text size/zoom in in whatever Mac app I’m using, which I already do for the sake of my weak eyes. I guess that’s not an option for a lot of Mac apps, but I only do extended reading in Firefox, Indesign, Textedit, and Preview, so no troubles there. Regardless, Cleartype just isn’t cool enough to justify running Windows. It amazes me that all those years went into trying to make a better OS that I was sick of after five minutes.

Of course, this does bring back my favorite OS X usability pet peeve: no obvious way to increase the system font sizes all around, something that Microsoft has offered forever.

hrant's picture

> bumping up the text size/zoom

That's plainly ridiculous.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

>Regardless, Cleartype just isn’t cool enough to justify running Windows.

Sorry to be practical, but I believe the market for Parallels is driven by access to Windows apps not available for the Mac rather than ClearType.

blank's picture

That’s plainly ridiculous.

No more so than large print books. IMHO web sites and software are too often coded by people who live under the deranged assumption that just because they can read minuscule screen type without much effort, so can everyone else. So I set all my browsers to render at a minimum of twelve points, do word-processing at fourteen, and generally ignore flash sites and software that use small type.

At least I’m technically adept enough to get by like that. I know people running OS X outside of the native screen resolution of their displays because otherwise they can’t read the menu type and are too technologically inept to get by otherwise.

Sorry to be practical, but I believe the market for Parallels is driven by access to Windows apps not available for the Mac rather than ClearType.

Very true. I just miss the days when new stuff from Microsoft was a really big deal, and really cool. Now I just leave my Windows machine powered-down for months at a time and reminisce about the good old Win2k days. But I just found out that I can watch Akira in HD on an XBox 360, so I may be diving back into the Microsoft world this weekend.

hrant's picture

> No more so than large print books.

No, the parallel in books would be for you to propose
that everybody should just read the large print ones.

> web sites and software are too often coded by
> people who live under the deranged assumption

Coded? Sounds more like graphic designers...
Except for the "they can read" part, since they try hard not to.

hhp

Miguel Sousa's picture

FWIW, back in 2003 when I switched over to Mac OSX, from Windows 2000, and started using Safari and Mail, I was also quite shocked to see how blurry the type looked. Nowadays it just feels natural, and whenever I need to use XP, the type just feels too crude.

hrant's picture

> Nowadays it just feels natural

Yes, I myself got used to the car bombs during the war.
Now it all feels anti-climactic.

--

BTW, congrats! :-)

hhp

Randy's picture

Hmm...

I was just fiddling with http://typetester.maratz.com/ on my PC and my Mac side by side. I'm comming at this as a designer of websites. PC running XP IE6 FF2, Mac Safari 2 .. both sides at default settings since most leave it like it comes out of the box.

My biggest gripe with pc screen typography is that certain sizes of certain fonts look fantastic. But heaven forbid that you specify bold at that size. Or increase the size 1px. Case in point, Arial Bold 14px (nastified). Verdana 16px Bold (bold? bold?). Up to 17px, ok now it's bold, but the spacing is all wack. In fact, i would say px sizes 14+ look ghastly on my pc.

No fair you say? Clear Type not turned on in the PC example. How many users open Control Panel > Display > Effects > Screen Font > Clear Type to click that box? My issue is what joe pc sees when he fires up his Dell box, but Ok. Now clear type is active:

Hey that 17px is looking much better on the pc. Beter than the mac? Debatable. How is the 16px? Craptastic spacing and contrast. Mac? Still pretty decent.

In conclusion: on a PC without cleartype, 10% of type options get an A, 90% get a C-. With cleartype on, the percentages improve somewhat. Out of the box on a mac, 100% get an A-. I'll take freedom and an A-. Call me artsy.

R

Si_Daniels's picture

Yeah, that's right. So very, very many Web pages I read use 16px Verdana Bold ;-)

In all seriousness I think it’s incredibly difficult to objectively compare rendering, especially when you take fonts created for, or tuned for, a particular environment across to another environment. You almost have to compare each platform’s showcase fonts against each other - Verdana and Georgia for aliased TrueType, the ClearType Collection fonts for ClearType, but what for Mac OS? Is Lucida Grande the showcase font?

hrant's picture

> How many users open Control Panel > Display > Effects > Screen Font > Clear Type to click that box?

Almost none. Which is why CT is on by default in Vista...

Your A- is a C- to me. Artsy? Nah, Modernist. Consistently mediocre
is still mediocre. There's no good reason for Apple's rendering to be
this bad, and even less reason for so many people to be in denial
about it.

> I think it’s incredibly difficult to objectively compare rendering

Not least when you factor in the gamma difference issue.
"You have to be there."™

hhp

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