RIA technologies: lets compare font rendering.

Posted by JOKe on 8/20/2009 12:30:00 PM in , ,

The idea is to compare the current RIA frameworks like Flex(Flash), Silverlight and JavaFX and see what are the fonts that they produces. We are in 21th century most of the people have laptops and use TFT screens and windows is the most usedOS this days, so most of the people use clear type font rendering. Lets see how each technology uses clear type :

For me the best fonts with clear type enabled are fonts in WinForms and native windows applications. I’ve found very interesting comparison here: http://www.scottlogic.co.uk/blog/wpf/2009/07/silverlight-v3-cleartype-font-rendering-a-comparison/ I will use some of the screenshots from there.

(ClearType OFF)

You can see that WinForms with ClearType off are still best for CRT screens but not good for TFT screens.

(ClearType On)

The WinForms + ClearType is the best from microsoft for now.
Silverlight v2.0 Silverlight v2 fonts are so bad I cant see the RIA when I have bad fonts.
Silverlight v3.0 Silverlight v3 have ClearType but it is still far far worst than the WinForms ClearType.


(ClearType off)

WPF with ClearType off is worst than WinForms with ClearType Off it is bad for CRT and bad for TFT displays. It is bad for everything maybe this is the reason why there is no WPF applications.


(ClearType on)

WPF with ClearType on is better than Silverlight for me but it is still bad. In .net 4.0 it will be finally fixed if we can believe to Microsoft.

JavaFX/Swing (Java 1.6u10+)

JavaFX and Swing with Java 1.6 update 10 have very good ClearType support I didn't see the difference between this and WinForms. But to have ClearType in JavaFX you are stick to SwingXXXX controls.

JavaFX 1.2

(node based controls)

JavaFX 1.2 with Node based controls are maybe the worst choice. They are so ugly that I cant believe on my eyes. I was hoping this fonts problem to be fixed in the next JavaFX versions.

Flash 10/Flex 4

Flash 10 and flex 4 looks AMAZING. This is the first “RIA” framework that done the web perfect. I know that Adobe clients are more designers and I like that Adobe is working to make things beautiful.



If you ask me and you want nice RIA framework for your good looking 21th century applications use flash. JavaFX is still bad if there is a nice development and designing tools it will be bad again. Silverlight is version 3.0 but it is still far far worst than Flash sometimes my browser freezes because of Silverlight, Expression Blend is WPF application and looks very bad and there is no designers that use Expression Design.

Note : You think Expression Blend is black because Microsoft likes Black GUI ? NO it is black because if was “white” you will see the bad looking fonts. In Expression blend 3 you can change the theme with “white theme” but when you change it you will see “the beauty”.



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