More WPF Anti-alias blues

July 20, 2007

I am hitting more issues with anti-alias in WPF. While it is frustrated to see there is no anti-alias support for 3D in WPF on Windows XP, it is even stranger to see that the text rendering in WPF has always-on anti-alias without giving developer the option to turn it off! Take a quick look at this thread on MSDN Forum, you will surprisingly find out how many people are frustrated with the same issue — poor design or poor implementation of WPF.

In a short word, WPF should give developers the option to turn on/off anti-alias feature in text rendering, and in 3D. Without such options, WPF suffers a major design flaw and poor quality comparing to Adobe Flash/Flex platform. I don’t see any blurry text out of Flash, while I see plenty of such on WPF. Why this “superior” and “future of UI development” technology from Microsoft renders text so poorly? Come on, we are in 2007 already and our computers are far more capable than just rendering clear text. My Windows Forms 2.0 text rendering is much clearer than WPF! The following illustrated the subtle differences between these three text rendering results:

XAML-based Text Rendering:

Adobe Flex2-based Text Rendering:

Windows Forms 2.0-based Text Rendering:

You can see both Windows Forms and Flex render textual information in a much readable way. And there is no way in WPF to turn this strange “anti-alias” off in text rendering. If you happen to know the tricks to make the look of small fonts in WPF looks better, I’d highly appreciate!

[Update 8/18/2007]

See this blog post on Text Anti-alias rendering in WPF. I found it useful when you want to fine tune your text appearing in XAML apps.

Anti-alias for WPF 3D on Windows XP?

July 19, 2007

Has anyone tried implementing 3D graphics on Windows XP? I am using a Dell Latitude D620 laptop to develop this WPF-based 3D chart library, and find out there is no way to work around this anti-alias issue on Windows XP?

Here is an example of the chart I am trying to develop:

Look how bad it is without anti-alias on. I searched all WPF forums and blogs, and it seems there is no way to turn on AA on Windows XP. Very disappointed 😦

Why Microsoft supports AA on Windows Vista while turns it off on Windows XP? The underlying hardwares aren’t the same for both OS on the same laptop? This is a HUGE negative point I’d give to the WPF team as you know there are plenty of business and corporations out there who are still on Windows XP and who’d like to adopt WPF-based technology to enhance usabilities otherwise. I think even Java 3D does better than this!!! — Not mentioning Flash/Flex has smoother 3D support that this!

If you happen to know the tricks to make the AA works under Windows XP (SP2), I’d highly appreciate. 🙂

The chart itself was simply written in XAML with very little C# code behind to generate the mesh and random data.