October 17th, 2005

A tiny observation.

Hmm. I just noticed that the URL in the location bar in Firefox for the Mac (i'm using version 1.0.7) is momentarily drawn with whole-pixel antialiasing before being redrawn again with subpixel antialiasing.

While i'm typing in the URL, the letters i type are antialiased at the subpixel level. In the enlarged picture, you can see colour fringes around the letters — Mac OS is using those colour fringes to make the letters look crisper and smoother.

But as soon as i hit Return, the URL is redrawn with antialiasing in whole pixels. Nothing but grey pixels here.

The URL stays that way while Firefox is trying to connect to the remote webserver. Once the connection is established, the URL is redrawn with subpixel antialiasing again.

In fact, you can test this out without having to watch for a brief split-second flash of whole-pixel-antialiased text. Just type in a URL with a domain that doesn't exist, like http://xyzzy.google.com/, and after the connection fails you'll be left with a whole-pixel-antialiased URL. Compare how the "google.com" looks in "http://xyzzy.google.com/" to "http://www.google.com/" to see the difference.

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Help wanted.

Hi. I'm helping organize BANG 13, a puzzle hunt in downtown San Francisco, on Saturday afternoon, October 29. We need a few volunteers to help us run the game. If you like shenanigans and want to meet a hundred or so smart creative people, come spend the afternoon with us. Would you consider giving us a hand?

We would need you to be in downtown SF about 3 pm, and the game will be done by 9 pm. You would be handing out puzzles and taking note of the times that teams start and finish — nothing too strenuous mentally or physically. In return, you will receive a BANG 13 sticker, candy, and the eternal gratitude of Team Get on a Raft with Taft. Please comment or send me e-mail if you're interested.