* the character that looks wrong, or the string needed to see the problem (obviously)
-o <I >output</I >
Up to physical size 16: the Roman glyphs look stroked and the Italic glyphs look filled, meaning they are much heavier than their Roman counterparts.
Larger sizes: the Italic glyphs is slightly taller than the Roman font (but shorter under FONT SIZE=-1 so there is no way to compensate for this effect).
* your desktop and operating system/distribution, and which programs show the problem (and if any: which programs don't show it)
openSuSE_11.2, KDE_4.3.5, +Firefox_3.5, +OpenOffice_3.1.1 Writer, +Kfontview_1.1
* (mainly for Linux users) various font settings if you've been editing them
* when the problem appears (all sizes, or just at specific font size)
The problem appears at logical sizes up to 16 (transforms into another problem at 18)
* No autohinter
I suspect the reporter’s system has freetype’s BCI enabled and that this
is the result of how the italic fonts are instructed.
They match better when rendered with the autofitter or with no hinting.
The problem is that there is no TrueType hinting in Serif Italic, while normal Serif does have hinting.
If you only use the autohinter, chances of different font heights between regular and italic are less likely to occur (though possible as far as I know). With TrueType hinting enabled the font instructs in Serif to adjust the glyph size, while it's not happening in italic as well.
The obvious way to fix this is of course to add the hinting instructions to Serif, but of course, that's not something which is easily done...