2009-12-15

Getting NetBeans to do Anti-Aliasing

I changed desktop environment from KDE to none when Gentoo marked KDE 4 as stable. Don't get me wrong: it has nothing to do with KDE 4 itself. The problem is that my computer is rather old and it was already getting a little slow with KDE 3.5. KDE 4 is heavier and slower bringing me to the tipping point. No, GNOME is not the answer: I switched from GNOME to KDE when GNOME got too bloated and don't get me started with mono...

Now I'm using openbox, considering wmii or enlightenment but not a full desktop. I added adesklets to the mix, conky, tint2 and yeahconsole and I'm ready to work.

A couple of days ago a colleague had issues with NetBeans on Gentoo, specifically the fonts had no anti-aliasing, hinting, whatever you want to call it. I tried it today because I was using NetBeans to do some PHP coding. Well, I had the same problem.

After some investigation I finally found a way to get it back to work without running KDE or GNOME and I though of sharing it here hopping the next guy can find it easier.

According to Sun's JDK documentation you can defined a "_JAVA_OPTIONS" environment variable with the options that the VM should use when starting. You can also force AWT to use a given fixed AA Font Settings and ignore the non existing desktop. In the end you have to make "_JAVA_OPTIONS" have the value "-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=lcd" or any of the values defined in the JDK docs.