It’s not easy being a Debian user when it comes to displays.

I still have not managed to direct rendering to work on this ATI Radeon based chipset. Yes, I have radeon and agpgart in lsmod. There are so many critical issues with displays in Debian systems… I am going to ramble here.

Drivers are complex beasts nowadays. Non-free is not an option. That means Free software users are out of this 3D gaming loop.

Xfree86 and XF86Config-4 is… arg… you know…

hendry@scrooge-15:/etc/X11$ apt-cache search fonts | wc -l
332

Do we really need so many? xfont, truetype, font servers… It’s too complicated. :/

Unicode(ISO 10646) is such a pain in the ass. Many fonts do not have all the glyphs. What’s worse is you can’t tell easily how complete and compliant a Unicode font you are using has all the glyphs you might need. Is there some certification scheme? And I assume fully unicode fonts are quite hefty on the memory (and hard to find!).

I would like a policy where fonts on the system were just a couple good scalable complete fonts. A default Debian font! One for fixed width and one for variable. I should post a coherent version of this to debian-devel.

Anti-aliasing should be looked at. Yes, I have that stupid package mozilla-xft. On my display it makes fonts look blurry. I want my font’s sharp and defined. I want them to be able to scale. Small fonts look crap typically on my display. And then you get different types of hardware powering the display. CRT, CRT Flat, TFT… argh! Madness.

I want uniformity. I want the same font and the same readable size on any of the many different workstations I might use.
Right now will my uxterm font:

UXTerm*Font: -efont-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-iso10646-1

set in my ~/.Xresources, work on a RH machine? Will it be the same readable size as it is right now on a 1024×768 display as it is on my thinkpad’s 1400×1050? Btw, I am not terribly happy with “efont”. I would like zeros crossed like profont. Efont also looks a little oddly square to me. At least it’s readable right now. The previous default wasn’t. I found the details of the mystic line from a post on a Unicode mailing list somewhere. I should have found it with xfontsel, but didn’t. It sucks.

Now a little about how I like to have my display setup currently. Ion providing two vertically split windows. Uxterm providing the unicode terminal with at least 80 columns wide. 80 columns seems to be a magical limit of how long a line can be for puny humans. Finally the terminals are running bash with screen. I have about four virtual desktops I move between. One for IRC/Email. One for hacking on the local machine, and one for a remote machine I am working on. Final desktop is for Mozilla. I would love to teach ion to set this up for me when I log in. When I log in via xdm, I have to waste time setting up windows, connections and waiting for Mozilla to start. Grrrr….

Here is a screen shot of my setup, showing some details about my X display:

Screenshot