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I have this weird feeling that something must've happened to the Stack Overflow site recently: everything seems a tiny bit bolder in Chromium since a day or two ago (when I updated it).

Is it just my imagination, or did something actually happen to Stack Overflow?


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It's just you. – Pops Sep 29 '11 at 18:30
When I read the question I thought you meant something else – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 29 '11 at 18:46
Your keen eyes worry me. How am I supposed to secretly move your cheese later? BTW we haven't changed styling on SO. – Jin Sep 29 '11 at 18:51
@Jin, don't move any cheese, but say you did. Easier and funnier! – Pops Sep 29 '11 at 19:01
@NullUserExceptionஇ_இ: lol – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 19:05
@PopularDemand: Haha... see my screenshot. – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 19:33
It's a change (or bug) in Chrome, although to pull up the right details I'd need to know your browser version and OS. – Tim Stone Sep 29 '11 at 20:16
Looks like a cleartype use issue. Settings changed? – NGLN Sep 29 '11 at 21:01
@TimStone: 16.0.895.0 (Developer Build 103245 Windows) – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 21:29
@NGLN: Nothing that I changed myself. And I don't know why that would affect anything, since the screenshots are from the same exact browser, just different sites... – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 21:29
Does the text in the body of questions on Meta look the same as the screenshot of your comment text, or does it look more like what you see on Google? – Tim Stone Sep 30 '11 at 0:02
Related question… (since deleted), related answer… – Andrew Grimm Sep 30 '11 at 0:06
@TimStone: They look more like the comment text... in fact, I'm now noticing that Facebook and other sites look like it too. I guess it was a Chromium change? – Mehrdad Sep 30 '11 at 0:08
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The comment font appears a bit bolder because there isn't as much contrast between the rendered pixels, so your eye can't pick out the center line as distinctly as it can with your text sample from Google. You can see how this looks below, where the t on the left is the "thin" one, and the one on the right is the "bold" one:

pixel comparison of rendered fonts

Based on the browser information you provided and the fact that I don't see this in 16.0.891.0, it looks like the change in the comment font is probably due to the updated version of Skia that was rolled into the 16.0.895.0 release.

I'm not familiar enough with the source code to know why there's a variation between the two sites, although I had thought it might be related to the slight difference in font colour and the relevance that makes in the code that was changed. Based on your comment that seems less likely now, but you could switch the font colour on Google to #444444 and see if it changed anything.

In either case, it's definitely a result of upgrading Chrome. I actually remember experiencing this before for a bit before it went away, so presumably it'll go back again at some point (or at least I hope so).

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The font weight in Stack Overflow has been the same for as long as anybody can remember. I think this can safely be attributed either to your imagination or a font rendering change in Chromium.

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Probably the latter then -- I did update Chromium yesterday. lol, thanks. +1 – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 18:42
Ai, @Mehrdad, that information should probably have been in your question then! – Arjan Sep 29 '11 at 18:49
@Arjan: Well I didn't think that's the cause, since I notice it only on SO. But idk, it's weird... – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 19:04
@Mehrdad - are you sure you're not ever so slightly zoomed in on Stack Overflow? – ChrisF Sep 29 '11 at 19:11
@ChrisF: lol. Idk, do you see a difference? – Mehrdad Sep 29 '11 at 19:19

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