Author Topic: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code  (Read 17449 times)

wallybarnum

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Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« on: July 20, 2012, 11:27:01 pm »
The SE mac client looks a bit fuzzy on the new MBP with the retina display.  The menu names and such are all really sharp, but the viewing actual source code is a little fuzzy.  I guess programs need to build in some support for higher resolution fonts? 
Any chance that this will happen soon on SE?
thanks all,
W

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 07:44:55 am »
Hello,

Any comment? I tried the OSX trial version but with the Retina display the fonts are rather distracting.

Other similar products I use (Sublime Text, IntelliJ IDEA) were updated for Retina display about a week after the new Macs came out. (And they don't even charge extra for multi platform licensing.)

When will SlickEdit get updated?

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 05:56:10 pm »
There's actually a new key in the Info.plist that needs to be present. The NSHighResolutionCapable key, boolean, set to Yes/True should be all that's needed.

Attached is the v17.0.2 Info.plist file with the new key added.

However, modifying the Info.plist will invalidate the Developer ID digital signature. If you're running on 10.8 Mountain Lion, you'll need to change the system security preferences to allow all code to run, and may need to remove the _CodeSignature bundle subdirectory so the OS won't treat it as a signed package.

We don't yet have a Retina Mac to test this with. Please let me know if the tweak to Info.plist does the trick.

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 08:38:24 pm »
Matthew,

Thanks very much for your suggestion. I tried it, but perhaps did something wrong because it didn't seem to make any difference.

I applied the suggestion thus:

Code: [Select]
[jhurst@chaitin ~]$cd /Applications/SlickEdit2012.app/
[jhurst@chaitin SlickEdit2012.app]$sudo mv Contents/Info.plist Contents/Info.plist.original
[jhurst@chaitin SlickEdit2012.app]$sudo mv ~/Downloads/HIRES_Info.plist Contents/Info.plist
# and also tried ...
[jhurst@chaitin SlickEdit2012.app]$sudo mv Contents/Info.plist.original ~/dev/SlickEdit/

I didn't notice any problem starting SlickEdit after this change, although I am running ML.

I checked the Info.plist of Sublime Text, and it does not contain this key.

Regards

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 08:46:56 pm »
@john:
Thanks for giving that a go. If you right-click on the .app bundle, and select "Get Info", there should be a checkbox worded something like "Open in Low Resolution Mode". Is this checkbox available and enabled? Is it checked or unchecked?

This property (like a lot of Info.plist settings, e.g. Services menu entries) might be indexed by the /System/Library/CoreServices/pbs process. So you might need to log off and back on (or manually run pbs) to effect the change.

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 11:00:20 pm »
Matthew,

The checkbox "Open in low resolution" is present, enabled, and unchecked.

I tried rebooting, still the same result.

Sorry, I'm kind of new to Macs myself. (My first one.)

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 02:03:13 pm »
John: Thanks again for trying that. I've got one more variant of the Info.plist to try. (Attached).

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 08:03:59 pm »
Matthew,

Seems the only difference between this new one and the original is that NSPrincipalClass is changed from SlickEditApplication to NSApplication ... is that correct?

This file doesn't seem to make any difference for me. I put it into /Applications/SlickEdit2012.app/Contents/, logged out, logged back in. Fonts are still noticeably fuzzy-looking on the retina display.

If it's any consolation, Excel for Mac looks worse. Only the menu text is clear. All other text, including button labels, and also graphics, are all fuzzy. With SlickEdit, button and other labels, and text in list boxes, is clear. Toolbar button icons are fuzzy, but I hide all the toolbars anyway. :-)

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 08:23:37 pm »
Thanks for the info. Looks like it's not a problem with the Info.plist, since the "Low Res" checkbox seems to be set up properly and the rest of the UI is rendering fine.

In the Tools > Options dialog, and under the Appearance > Fonts section, do you have anti-aliasing support turned off by any chance?

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 08:57:37 pm »
Matthew,

Fair question! :-) But no.

I'm using Inconsolata at 16pt (SBCS/DBCS source windows), and "Use anti-aliasing" is checked.

But you are starting to scare me into thinking I've got something dumb in my setup.

For years I've customized my SlickEdit installation with a rather arcane custom script I've hacked up. But for this OSX installation I left it alone, apart from a small number of manual tweaks.

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 09:02:35 pm »
John:
It's nothing with your setup. I think I know why we're seeing fuzzed-out fonts in the editor but not in the rest of the UI. At first I thought an anti-aliasing setting was to blame. But after reviewing some of the performance tweaks we've made for the Mac drawing, I think I can see where we'd get incorrect pixelated results when the Quartz compositor goes to render our magnified view content.
I'll keep you posted as we find out more. But in the meantime you may want to experiment with turning off anti-aliasing in your editor fonts. While this would normally make the fonts look worse (i.e.-"blocky" or "choppy"), it may be better than "fuzzy".

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 09:10:14 pm »
Matthew,

I tried turning the anti-aliasing off. Sure enough, it looks a lot different. Now it's noticeably jagged, rather than fuzzy, and sadly I think the fuzzy was better.

I think the sharpness of Retina text has spoiled me. I'm not an Apple fanboy but when I went back to my Linux laptop last night I noticed the text just doesn't look good enough any more.

Sounds like you guys are going to work on it ... I appreciate it. Look forward to any more updates.

Regards

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 02:14:50 pm »
I'm sending you a PM with a link for an experimental build.

jbhurst

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2012, 09:24:46 pm »
Matthew,

That helped. Buffer text looks good on Retina display now.

Oddly, "About" still lists build date as July 12, 2012. Did I get the right one?

And, while trying a slightly larger file for scrolling, I got a crash. But I have not been able to reproduce it.

Hope this helps.

John Hurst

Matthew

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Re: Fonts on Macbook Pro Retina Display = Fuzzy source code
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 02:36:30 pm »
John:
Thanks for checking that out. Glad to hear that fixed the issue with the font display. And I was able to reproduce the scrolling crash you saw with the "fixed" version. Using PageUp/Down seems to work fine, and dragging the scrollbar with the mouse also looks good. I see the crash when using the thumbwheel or trackpad scrolling or when auto-scrolling using the down arrow key at the bottom of a file. We'll look into fixing that right away.

Don't let the "July 12" throw you. That's just an artifact since I used my own machine instead of the continuous integration server to create that build.