Ino Detelić

You can now change the icon buttons in Gmail to show text

Finally, the option has arrived. Even after months of using the new Gmail, I still found myself hovering over the icons just to make sure I was about to press the right button.

 

To change it, go to Settings, and under the general tab change the Button labels option to text.

 

Posted on March 22nd, 2012 under random

Font anti-aliasing technique in Chrome changes after 48px size

Google Chrome does render fonts with subpixel anti-aliasing but the text looks more jaggy than in other browsers, because it only supports horizontal anti-aliasing.
The jaggies are specially visible on the top and bottom of the curved letters, like S, O and C, while looking fine on the sides of these letters.

Look at the screenshots of some letters with the Georgia font at 48px:

Chrome Georgia 48px ver18.0.1025.100 beta-m

Google Chrome 18.0.1025.100 beta-m - Georgia at 48px

Can you notice the jaggies on the top of the letters in Chrome?

But after a certain font size, Chrome does some other method to render fonts. In Georgia font, that size is 49px:

Chrome Georgia 49px ver18.0.1025.100 beta-m

Google Chrome 18.0.1025.100 beta-m - Georgia at 49px

The letters are no longer jagged!

If we take a closer look, we can see that while it does look better, it’s not using sub-pixel rendering, but monochromatic anti-aliasing for both the vertical and horizontal directions.

Here’s a closer look at the fonts rendered above, amplified at 500%:

Chrome Georgia 48px ver18.0.1025.100 beta-m.png at 500 percent zoom

Chrome - Georgia 48px @ 500% zoom

Chrome Georgia 49px ver18.0.1025.100 beta-m.png at 500 percent zoom

Chrome - Georgia 49px @ 500% zoom

 

Conclusion: for now if you’re using a big font-size for headers or page titles, consider font-size: 49px to get the smooth edges on Chrome, at least until they use subpixel for horizontal + monochrome for vertical anti-aliasing like the other browsers.

 

More information about font rendering:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subpixel_rendering

http://blog.typekit.com/2011/07/26/new-from-typekit-improved-font-rendering-on-windows/

http://www.basschouten.com/blog1.php/font-rendering-gdi-versus-directwrite

 

For browser comparison, here’s how the same text is rendered in Chrome 18 beta, Firefox 11.0 and Internet Explorer 9:

Chrome Georgia 48px ver18.0.1025.100 beta-m

Chrome 18.0.1025.100 beta-m - Georgia at 48px

Chrome Georgia 49px ver18.0.1025.100 beta-m

Chrome 18.0.1025.100 beta-m - Georgia at 49px

Firefox Georgia 48px ver11.0

Firefox 11.0 - Georgia at 48px

Internet Explorer 9 - Georgia at 48px

ant the close-ups:

Chrome - Georgia 48px @ 500% zoom

Chrome - Georgia 49px @ 500% zoom

Firefox 11.0- Georgia 48px @ 500% zoom

Internet Explorer 9 - Georgia 48px @ 500% zoom

 

Posted on March 16th, 2012 under random

Quick response to pandodaily’s The Clipboard Data Privacy Scandal post.

Trevor Gilbert clearly does not understand the real issue of this privacy breach, but what made me write this post was this thing he says:

That’s what the Internet is based upon. Trust. Trust in larger technology companies, in the developers, and in each other. Sure, that trust can be breached now and again with less-than-honest developers and profit-obsessed companies. In the view of the larger picture, though, think of all of the services that you use that actually don’t do anything wrong with your data. Yes, they do things without asking your permission. In the end though, they do it to simplify your life.

– Trevor Gilbert, Verified: The Clipboard Data Privacy Scandal

Trust?

If the internet history has taught us anything, by the way made even more evident with this address book privacy issue, is NOT to trust larger tech companies, developers or anyone else.

When our information is being used without our knowledge or permission, how can there be trust?

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 under random

Middle click on links: another google+ annoyance

Since the dawn of tabbed browsing, middle click opens links on a new tab, usually a background tab so you can click a few of them quickly without going back and forth.

If you middle-click a link preview, the little image near the link someone posted, it opens in a background tab like it should, but it also starts the pan mode that usually happens if you middle-click the page background.

This is annoying because its against the standard way that links work and the way we’re used to clicking on links.

Bottom line: if you’re linking to some webpage, showing a preview and making the mouse turn into a hand over the preview, please make it behave like a normal link.

(Behind the scenes, what’s happening is that the image isn’t inside an <a> anchor tag, but the link is triggered through a javascript event.
But the link above it, the title of the page is a normal link so it works perfectly.)

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 under random