Hoary fonts - developers?

John Richard Moser nigelenki at comcast.net
Mon Mar 14 10:51:25 CST 2005


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thully at umich.edu wrote:
> OK, I've seen everybody's comments on this issue.
> 
> As far as the autohinter, I guess it may not work out for Hoary because
> of the issues w/non Latin characters.  However, is there any possibility it
> could be enabled if only locales supported by autohinter are installed?  I know
> some will want to read things in other languages - but to my knowledge
> autohinter only makes non-Latin fonts worse, not intolerably worse.  If this is
> the case, autohinter should be switched on w/a system locale that uses Latin
> fonts because it really makes those fonts SO much better (try them and see).
> 
> As to the font substitutions - something ought to be done for this. 
> Substituting serif fonts for Arial/Helvetica is such a bad thing to do it
> approaches being a bug.  I like substituting Bitstream Vera Sans for these,
> because while this may not be the most accurate font in technical terms to use
> in substitutions, it is the one which looks the best by far in my opinion.
> 

Sans serif and serif are used for specific reasons.  Sans serif fonts
are good for titles because they look clean and smooth; serif is good
for fine print because it's easier to read, as serifs help space things
to a slight degree.  Switching a serif for a sans font is a bad idea, so
bad in fact that in CSS you can do:

font-family:  times new roman, serif;
font-family:  arial, sans;

So the fallback is serif or sans serif.  In general, you're right, every
UI should fall back to the same family of fonts if the one there isn't
available.  This requires, of course, knowing what family the font is in
. . . .

Falling back to serif is always "better" when you have nfc what type of
font the missing one is, because it's more readable.  Monospace might be
a good idea too, but in general things that have actual fonts aren't
meant to be monospaced.

> Developers: any comment on these two issues?
> 
> Tim Hull
> thully at umich.edu
> 

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