Font Smoothing in Firefox 3 on XP

firefox3-fonts.png

I have noticed an issue with font smoothing on Firefox 3 ever since I upgraded my home WinXP machine last week. Namely, my fonts seem to be "ghosted" by red borders. My guess is that this is some kind of sub-pixel smoothing gone awry. As a matter of comparison, I am showing Habari's admin menu in Firefox 3 and Safari 3.1.1 (I am comparing with Safari because I no longer have Firefox 2 on my machine). In most circumstances, I would say that Safari goes overboard with the anti-aliasing/sub-pixel smoothing, at least with small fonts. However, in this case it clearly looks better. In fact, it looks very much like the menu used to look on Firefox 2.

Is anyone else seeing this? I am curious if this is a Cairo graphics problem (newly integrated in Firefox 3) or a WinXP problem.

First thoughts on IE7

I downloaded Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 this weekend. I was instantly greeted to a crash everytime I tried to load the program. Interestingly, the Windows update page would load without crashing, so I was able to download an IE7 patch that was available, but after installing that, it still crashed every time I opened my home page (which is just google.com), or open a new tab.

After firing up Firefox and looking around, I discovered that IE7 doesn't play well with some versions of Google Desktop. So, I updated my Google Desktop and that fixed it! I hope Microsoft starts checking for old versions of Google Desktop during install, because if they push this out over Automatic Updates like they plan to, then there could be a lot of frustrated users out there.

As for other first impressions... it's nice that IE has finally joined the world of tabbed browsing. CSS support seems much tighter. I'm not yet used to this whole "bubbly" thing that Microsoft has going on with its new software (see also Windows Media Player 11). But it seems alright.

I've played around with some of the new self-clearing methods now that was I doing before doesn't work with IE7. Luckily, there is a minor modification of the easy clearing method which is working.

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