Disabling option to disable DirectWrite font rendering in Opera beta (39.0.2256.15)

  • I know that Chromium just disabled the possibility to turn on DirectWrite font rendering, but i don't know why. That's so problematic issue, yet so important, I have no idea why noone decided to solve it once and for all. Thanks God, we were able to turn it off using flags in both Opera and in Chromium, until now... Asfaik it is still possible to do in Opera stable edition 38~, but in beta and developer the setting is gone. Don't do that guys, bring it back somehow (I know Opera is based on Chroumim). DirectWrite is the reason why Firefox is still one of the biggest browsers out there, because of it's perfect fonts rendering. Opera and Chromium even with DirectWrite disabled got some problems, fonts are blurry and not as sharp as I would like them to be but I can stand it. Now I'm testing Opera beta and I'm forced to use DirectWrite. My eyes hurt after 15 minutes of work. If it won't change and the next Opera will still be forcing me to hurt my eyes, I'll have to get back to Firefox. And as I can see even on that forum, I'm not the only one.

  • I know that Chromium just disabled the possibility to turn on DirectWrite font rendering, but i don't know why.

    The experiment has ended so the flag was removed.

    Asfaik it is still possible to do in Opera stable edition 38~, but in beta and developer the setting is gone. Don't do that guys, bring it back somehow

    There is nothing much Opera developers can do. Changing Chromium code just to bring back this flag would bring more issues than benefits and also wouldn't make sense as the idea of using Chromium is, among others, to put less efforts on developing the engine.

    Now I'm testing Opera beta and I'm forced to use DirectWrite. My eyes hurt after 15 minutes of work.

    Have you look at opera://flags and tried to change some flags related to font rendering?

  • Have you look at opera://flags and tried to change some flags related to font rendering?

    I was looking for anything that might help but could'nt find much, only 3 flags related to fonts but not a single one related to rendering.

    Well, the thing that helped was changing the deafult fonts to Dotum and Batang, but still most of the UI elements and page content using other fonts that looks bad.

  • Hi @mkawaa, you can still disable DirectWrite font rendering for general UI elements, by adding the command line switch at the end of the shortcut to the "launcher.exe", as it's shown below:

    "path\to\launcher.exe" --disable-directwrite-for-ui

    I have checked this on Windows 7, and after adding the switch, the UI elements look much sharper. If that is not good enough for you, you can try one of the workarounds, which are mentioned here, and here.

  • There is nothing much Opera developers can do. Changing Chromium code just to bring back this flag would bring more issues than benefits and also wouldn't make sense as the idea of using Chromium is, among others, to put less efforts on developing the engine.

    Then please keep up the 36.X stable branch (where DirectWrite can be disabled) and provide security and bug fixes for that. I don't care about the shiny new features but I would like to have readable fonts instead of getting headaches because of DirectWrite fonts or waste hundreds of dollars on 4K monitors on which the difference can't be seen.

  • Then please keep up the 36.X stable branch (where DirectWrite can be disabled) and provide security and bug fixes for that.

    They are already maintained version 36 for the Luddites that don't want to use an OS made in the last 10 years. Feel free to stick with it, as it will continue to see some updates for at least the next several months. How often those updates will come out I can't say though.

  • That's really noble from Opera developers and I'm glad (seriously, no sarcasm) that the 36.X branch is kept up. However, it must be kept up for the long term (not just for a few months, but years), like some Linux distros also have LTS (long term support) versions that contain older packages with only bug/security fixes applied and are supported for 4-5 years from the initial release.

    Yes, there are some Luddites that prefer stability to new features, especially when it's about "features" like forced DirectWrite that only make the developer's life easier (no need to maintain GDI codebase) while ruining the user experience (blurred, headaching fonts).

  • Well, if you are willing to pay the cost of a couple of developers salaries to keep the feature up to date you might reach out to Opera and see if they are willing to make a deal.

  • If Opera could be the fastest and most secure still-supported browser alternative for older Windows systems, like XP, I think we would get some supporters on Indiegogo. Also a lot of companies still run XP. They even pay Microsoft to provide security fixes. I'm not a millionaire so I could not pay their salary. However, I'm definitely not the only one who would need a browser that is supported on legacy OSes, for the long term.

    There are tens of millions of users out there with XP. The question is, how do we reach them.

  • Also a lot of companies still run XP.

    Not ones will to pay a plugged nickel for anything. The reason they still use it is they are cheap and refuse to upgrade or continue to use old programs that don't work on anything newer. Again, because they are cheap and wont upgrade their programs. I work in the tech support business and we refuse to support any systems still running Windows XP. They are too much of a nightmare to maintain anymore. No one running XP wants to pay a dallor for anything.

  • I'm so glad that you have found the right place to work at where you are surrounded by "newer is always better" people, so your only annoyance is people like me on internet forums.

    For your information.

    http://www.recode.net/2014/4/9/11625422/some-businesses-governments-still-getting-xp-support-from-microsoft

    http://www.cio.com/article/2944673/security0/7-places-you-ll-be-surprised-to-learn-are-still-using-windows-xp.html

  • But after offing this topic about planned obsolescence carried out by the software industry, let's focus on the main topic, forcing DirectWrite upon us.

    Opera Developers, feel addressed and please compare this ... (the shiny new DirectWrite)
    http://s32.postimg.org/7fmcwhv45/x_dw.png

    ... to this (classic GDI rendering).
    http://s32.postimg.org/4zp4we2f9/x_gdi.png

    And don't tell me to use sub-pixel rendering (ClearType) because it just SUCKS by all means and is still worse than classic GDI (grayscale) rendering.

    I don't think that it would be so much effort to create a small patch for Chromium that would keep GDI support. I also think that this could be an advantage because almost everyone wanted to disable DirectWrite after it became default in Chrome (around version 37). Windows 7 (which is a platform supported by Microsoft) supports GDI as well as DirectWrite. Chromium developers are taking away the freedom to choose between the two, so the only option remaining for Windows is DirectWrite. It can't be customized at all and there aren't configuration options anywhere. Opera could give back this freedom of choice to their users.

  • I don't think that it would be so much effort to create a small patch for Chromium that would keep GDI support.

    You want a small patch. And the Windows XP people want a small patch. And then someone else wants a small patch. Etc. Etc. By the end of the week everyone will want a small patch and that defeats the point of the labor savings of a shared renderer. Its not gonna happen.

  • So you are finding more excuses. Great. What good is developing Opera upon Chromium codebase anyways? Why didn't you just tell everyone to quit using Opera and switch to Chrome when you abandoned Presto? The Chromium behind Opera is full of patches because it has features that Chromium hasn't. Or do you just write and apply those patches that make the browser more sellable, shiny and marketingish (and say no for those that would keep it more usable), like annoying animations and crossfades that can't even be turned off?

    Please do not compare GDI support to Windows XP support. They are two different things. GDI is supported by Windows 7 and Windows 7 is still supported by Microsoft. As a consequence, GDI is still supported by Microsoft. Windows XP support is a whole wider scope and yes, I agree that supporting Windows XP with up-to-date Chromium codebase would require much effort. But For Your Information, FlashPeak Inc. (creator of SlimJet) does exactly this. They have just released their browser with Chromium version 52.X (while XP support has ended in 49.X) - instead of finding excuses.

    This would not even be a feature patch. Just reverting what Ilya Kulshin has done and keeping it in the codebase. Stop finding excuses and please keep GDI rendering.

  • This topic gone off topic. If someone is having issues with Directwrite then open a topic to report it.

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