How long do you guys plan to support XP?
Firefox is dropping XP support this year. This would make Opera the only browser with XP support in the market.
If Opera could keep up XP support for as long as possible, that would be great.
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Opera has always been about customizability. Google is now taking the freedom of choice away from its users. Here would be the chance for Opera Developers to act add continue supporting GDI. Like they continue supporting Windows XP by providing security patches for version 36.X.
When DirectWrite is enabled, Chrome displays more unreadable and blurry fonts in grayscale rendering. This is because DirectWrite performs much worse in grayscale anti-aliasing than the good old GDI. ClearType tuning might help but for some people it's simply not an option because it's still blurry and because of the colorspace pollution (color bleeding, fringes) it causes. The problem is that GDI support has been removed from Chromium so we're now forced to read blurry fonts. The solution is to revert the changes that removed GDI font rendering support and add back the Disable DirectWrite flag.
There is already an outrage on Google Product Forums because of the removal of GDI rendering ("Disable DirectWrite" option). A lot of people are complaining about blurry, unreadable fonts.
I have created a petition and tried to raise some attention on online forums. Please sign / share / promote this petition and show Google that we are opposing the withdrawal of our freedom of choice.
Please also don't forget to upvote an already existing suggestion.
The removal of GDI support has just reached the stable version of Google Chrome. This means, everyone who gets updated to the latest version of Chrome, will have blurry DirectWrite fonts as their only option. This will affect Opera as well as well as it's based on The Chromium Project.
Here is the response from those who are not satisifed with blurry DirectWrite fonts that are only good for developers living their blind idealism and some graphics designers equipped with high-end displays.
Please sign this petition and show Google that we are opposing the withdrawal of our freedom of choice. Please share this petition to reach more people who would like to express their opinion.
Google's reasons are invalid and contradictional.
It is not their fault if a computer gets infected. A Windows 7 computer can still get infected via zero-day exploits and can become a part of a zombie network. Even if updated. But not all computers are updated. Some people just disable updates.
With discontinuing XP support they will increase the risks of those who are using Chrome on an older OS, because they will not likely to upgrade. If they were likely to upgrade, they would have already done it. So they will just achieve the opposite with the discontinuation.
They also discontinued the support for Vista as well, which is still supported by Microsoft. This contradicts their main reason (that they discontinued XP because Microsoft does not support it anymore).
They also discontinued the support for 32-bit Linux which will also affect those who use older netbooks that only have a 32-bit processor. This is not a big impact though, they can use Chromium 32-bit.
"Liability"? Oh please... Marketing bullsh*t. Google just does not want to put effort in it because they feel sorry for that abt. 0.00001% of their revenue to put it into supporting the needs of millions of users. It's all about money and resources. They have tremendous amount of resources and they would be able to support even OS/2 or Amiga OS if they decided to. However, it seems they just pick up every cent on development and this fact makes them more greedy, arrogant and ignorant than they seemed before. So, all in all, shame on Google.
The Graphics Device Interface (GDI) is a Microsoft Windows application programming interface and core operating system component responsible for representing graphical objects and transmitting them to output devices such as monitors and printers.
In earlier versions of Windows (e.g. XP) fonts (as well as other graphical objects) were mainly rendered using GDI. Windows 7 also has full support of GDI, but it also has a new interface called DirectWrite.
More than two months ago Chromium developers Ilya Kulshin and Scott Graham created a patch that would remove support for GDI font rendering completely from the Chromium codebase.
They've done this without any direct consent from users and with a reason like since we have already sorted out support for XP/Vista, we don't need GDI anymore. They've done this despite the fact that a lot of users wanted to get rid of DirectWrite after it became default in the stable releases of Chromium and Chrome. They've done this despite the fact that GDI is still fully supported in Windows 7 which is the most widely-used (and also the most mature, most stable) Windows today. Windows 7 is officially supported by Microsoft. As a consequence, GDI is also officially supported by Microsoft as it's part of the operating system. Thus, GDI is supposed to be supported and offered as a choice like any other platform-specific settings in Chromium. Furthermore, DirectWrite is incapable of giving the same look and feel as GDI, as you don't need glasses to see this in the comparison below: For those who prefer grayscale anti-aliasing, this means a serious degradation in quality and readability.
Make sure you view the sample images in their original sizes.
Of course you can turn on ClearType, however there are people (even if we are a minority) who do not prefer ClearType and any kind of sub-pixel rendering. ClearType uses sub-pixels for smoothing font edges which is basically violating the original purpose of sub-pixels and by this it pollutes the color space that results in color fringes and bleeding. There are many displays with different (mostly lower) contrast ratios on which you simply can't tune ClearType well, it will always bleed or have noticeable color fringes. Also, for notebooks used with different backlight brightness levels (day/night) sometimes there is no universal settings without noticeable bleeding or color fringes. Even though the ClearType rendering of GDI is poorer than of DirectWrite, at grayscale rendering the winner is definitely GDI and it has done a really good job for several years: sharp, well-hinted fonts and even sharper edges (even sharper than DirectWrite with ClearType on).
Since DirectWrite was introduced, a lot of people have complained about less readable fonts, seeking to disable DirectWrite and switch back to the good old GDI. See a few of these topics below.
https://forums.opera.com/topic/16022/disabling-option-to-disable-directwrite-font-rendering-in-opera-beta-39-0-2256-15/5 (Opera is Chromium-based)
https://vivaldi.net/en-US/forum/vivaldi-browser/2237-font-rendering-in-vivaldi-is-an-issue (Vivaldi is Chromium-based)
(... and many-many more)
However, the purpose of keeping GDI is not about preferring DirectWrite or not. It's about free choice. The free choice that is being taken away from us right now, by Chromium developers. Opera could give it us back.
Please keep the Disable DirectWrite option.
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.
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)
... to this (classic GDI rendering).
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'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.