In a recent thread (http://typophile.com/node/57376), I wondered if web type antialiasing is based on:
- The visitor’s OS antialiasing settings
- The visitor’s OS’s rendering engine (and any related settings, if different than general OS antialiasing settings)
- The visitor’s browser antialiasing settings
- The visitor’s browser’s rendering engine (and any related settings, if different than general browser antialiasing settings)
- Hinting instructions provided by the suggested typeface?
(If so, at what level are these hinting instructions applied? OS? Browser?)
Thomas Phinney answered right away:
All of those components *can* affect how type is rendered, but only one rendering engine and one anti-aliasing setting will be in play at a time for a given browser. [...] The hinting in the font interacts with the rendering engine and anti-aliasing settings, wherever they may be at the moment."
What I'd like to know more about is how the hinting interacts with the rendering engine and anti-aliasing settings. If a typeface's hints want to rasterize an outline one way, but the rendering engine wants to lay the same bezier in a different way, which wins? What does the math look like? Are values averaged? Overridden?
Basically: to what rendering concoctions are our web type specs subject?