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Why does Stata 10’s graphical user interface perform so slowly on a Windows X server such as Hummingbird Exceed?

Title   GUI performance on Windows X server
Author Chinh Nguyen, StataCorp
Date December 2007

Stata 10 uses TrueType fonts for rendering antialiased (smooth) fonts. Previous versions of Stata used bitmap fonts. When TrueType fonts exist on the X server, the X server is able to render all text locally, and there is a neglible difference in performance between rendering text using TrueType fonts and rendering text using bitmap fonts.

When no TrueType font exists on the X server, all text is rendered as a bitmap on the remote host and then sent to the X server. This can severely affect the performance of Stata's interface and make it seem slow to respond. Older versions of X server software may not support the use of TrueType fonts.

To avoid any performance problems with Stata’s graphical user interface when using a Windows X server, upgrade to the most recent version of the X server software that supports and includes TrueType fonts. For Hummingbird Exceed, we have confirmed that Exceed 2008 (as well as Exceed 2007) supports TrueType fonts.

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