[ubuntu-art] Re-Bringup: FreeSans as default font?

Denis Jacquerye moyogo at gmail.com
Sun Apr 30 00:56:40 BST 2006

Luxi Sans comes with X.org but its license is a bit restrictive:
It cannot be modified and therefore many characters needed in some
languages cannot be added. The font is the default font for RedHat's
BlueCurve theme.
Depending on what other fonts are installed some other characters in
present Scripts will be blurry or sharp.

Bitstream Vera is very much readable. DejaVu fonts extends those fonts
with many characters and quality is still improving. Right now some
present script (Latin; Cyrillic, Greek, Armenian, Arabic) are
partially hinted, so some are share and others blurry. Arabic glyphs
in DejaVu Sans are inappropriate for some users, maybe consider using
DejaVu Sans LGC. We hope to have more hinted chararacters by the next
release so more languages have all sharp and crisp characters. This is
a major improvement over Bitstream Vera but some languages still need
a few improvements to have the same quality.

FreeSans has lots of characters, too many might even say, with
quantity over quality. The font does not have hinting instructions and
can be blurry at some sizes. Arabic glyphs in FreeSans are
inappropriate for some users. This is an important font to have (if
you want lots of characters) but I don't think it should be the
default font (Helvetica readability, blurry, some people really don't
like it).

Looking at the Vista fonts, especially Segoe UI, there are no
freefonts available with the same characters, quality and features at
the moment. DejaVu Sans LGC will probably be as good (if not better)
sometimes this summer.
Right now there is also a problem with font renderers, they do not
handle some of the features some fonts have, like 'locl' allowing
specific glyphs for some languages or diacritics placement (Pango
handles it; but not Qt3).

There are a lot of free fonts out there, and a few opensource ones.
But even fewer are of good quality with hinting, kerning and other
features needed for good digital typography for a decent number of
languages (even with just Latin/Greek/Cyrillic scripts).

Denis Moyogo Jacquerye

On 4/29/06, Luis Santander <yetzero at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've always found Luxi Sans to be both attractive and usable. It's
> been my chosen one since I used it in Fedora Core 2. I don't know it's
> licensing details, though.
> --
> -Luis Santander

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