Free fonts and Windows users

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Free fonts and Windows users

Jon Robson-2
After the deploy last Thursday various users on Village Pumps bug
reports and external sites (e.g. Twitter and Reddit) were informing us
that the new typography was unreadable. Sadly it was difficult to
distinguish whether this was simply a dislike of the new fonts or
something deeper related to a bug.

After lots of experimentation and reaching out to users on Friday, we
discovered that the free fonts in the stack were rendering very poorly
on some Windows machines. I experimented with some live hacks to beta
labs to try and identify the problems [1] with a user who was
experiencing the problem. I tested various things like
text-size-adjust and font size. The problem that caused the text to be
unreadable for the user was the Liberation Sans font [2]

I tried to restore Arimo [3] and although it was fine for this
particular user, it wasn't fine for another user, meaning both our
fonts were causing issues. As a result, I have pulled together a small
patch to remove these fonts [4]. This is meant as only a short term
solution.

As for a long term solution, what can we do? Ideas in my head involve
1) Picking a new open font that is either
** widely available on Linux but not so much on Windows
** renders well in Windows
2) We create our own open font, maybe forking an existing font.
3) We restore these two fonts to the font stack but using JavaScript
either enable or disable them on Windows machines
4) We identify the issues here with the existing fonts, filing
upstream bugs and find a timeframe in which we can restore them by
5) Insert your idea here

I welcome your ideas on how we can find an open font that keeps all users happy.

Is it worth opening an RFC on MediaWiki.org to discuss our options some more?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=MediaWiki:Common.css&action=history
[2] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/86501
[3] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/86501...86502
[4] https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/124387

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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Isarra Yos
On 07/04/14 20:19, Jon Robson wrote:

> After the deploy last Thursday various users on Village Pumps bug
> reports and external sites (e.g. Twitter and Reddit) were informing us
> that the new typography was unreadable. Sadly it was difficult to
> distinguish whether this was simply a dislike of the new fonts or
> something deeper related to a bug.
>
> After lots of experimentation and reaching out to users on Friday, we
> discovered that the free fonts in the stack were rendering very poorly
> on some Windows machines. I experimented with some live hacks to beta
> labs to try and identify the problems [1] with a user who was
> experiencing the problem. I tested various things like
> text-size-adjust and font size. The problem that caused the text to be
> unreadable for the user was the Liberation Sans font [2]
>
> I tried to restore Arimo [3] and although it was fine for this
> particular user, it wasn't fine for another user, meaning both our
> fonts were causing issues. As a result, I have pulled together a small
> patch to remove these fonts [4]. This is meant as only a short term
> solution.
>
> As for a long term solution, what can we do? Ideas in my head involve
> 1) Picking a new open font that is either
> ** widely available on Linux but not so much on Windows
> ** renders well in Windows
> 2) We create our own open font, maybe forking an existing font.
> 3) We restore these two fonts to the font stack but using JavaScript
> either enable or disable them on Windows machines
> 4) We identify the issues here with the existing fonts, filing
> upstream bugs and find a timeframe in which we can restore them by
> 5) Insert your idea here
>
> I welcome your ideas on how we can find an open font that keeps all users happy.
>
> Is it worth opening an RFC on MediaWiki.org to discuss our options some more?
>
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=MediaWiki:Common.css&action=history
> [2] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/86501
> [3] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/86501...86502
> [4] https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/124387

5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font, which
translates to the default font for the platform, had none of these
problems, and resulted in fonts for all platforms which were good for
those platforms (though perhaps not necessarily the best).

  * Windows users got fonts optimised for Windows, and which Windows
    knows well how to render. They may not be free, but /we/ weren't the
    ones prioritising the non-free.
  * Linux users got whatever (probably free) font their distribution
    provides, for which in all likelihood their fontconfig (rendering
    settings) is also optimised.
  * Those with cleartype etc off previously had fonts that rendered
    properly or they would not have been using their system with
    cleartype etc off for all this time.
  * Anyone previously using free fonts, on whatever platform, did not
    have their choices overridden. This also applies to those using
    dyslexic-friendly and other accessibility-oriented fonts.
  * And so on.


Given that no objective and verifiable issues with this were ever
provided to explain the need for a shift to specific fonts across all
platforms and languages in the first place, this means there should also
be no issues with going back.

-I
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Martijn Hoekstra
On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 10:52 PM, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 07/04/14 20:19, Jon Robson wrote:
>
>> After the deploy last Thursday various users on Village Pumps bug
>> reports and external sites (e.g. Twitter and Reddit) were informing us
>> that the new typography was unreadable. Sadly it was difficult to
>> distinguish whether this was simply a dislike of the new fonts or
>> something deeper related to a bug.
>>
>> After lots of experimentation and reaching out to users on Friday, we
>> discovered that the free fonts in the stack were rendering very poorly
>> on some Windows machines. I experimented with some live hacks to beta
>> labs to try and identify the problems [1] with a user who was
>> experiencing the problem. I tested various things like
>> text-size-adjust and font size. The problem that caused the text to be
>> unreadable for the user was the Liberation Sans font [2]
>>
>> I tried to restore Arimo [3] and although it was fine for this
>> particular user, it wasn't fine for another user, meaning both our
>> fonts were causing issues. As a result, I have pulled together a small
>> patch to remove these fonts [4]. This is meant as only a short term
>> solution.
>>
>> As for a long term solution, what can we do? Ideas in my head involve
>> 1) Picking a new open font that is either
>> ** widely available on Linux but not so much on Windows
>> ** renders well in Windows
>> 2) We create our own open font, maybe forking an existing font.
>> 3) We restore these two fonts to the font stack but using JavaScript
>> either enable or disable them on Windows machines
>> 4) We identify the issues here with the existing fonts, filing
>> upstream bugs and find a timeframe in which we can restore them by
>> 5) Insert your idea here
>>
>> I welcome your ideas on how we can find an open font that keeps all users
>> happy.
>>
>> Is it worth opening an RFC on MediaWiki.org to discuss our options some
>> more?
>>
>> [1] http://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=
>> MediaWiki:Common.css&action=history
>> [2] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/86501
>> [3] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:
>> MobileDiff/86501...86502
>> [4] https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/124387
>>
>
> 5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font, which
> translates to the default font for the platform, had none of these
> problems, and resulted in fonts for all platforms which were good for those
> platforms (though perhaps not necessarily the best).
>
>  * Windows users got fonts optimised for Windows, and which Windows
>    knows well how to render. They may not be free, but /we/ weren't the
>    ones prioritising the non-free.
>  * Linux users got whatever (probably free) font their distribution
>    provides, for which in all likelihood their fontconfig (rendering
>    settings) is also optimised.
>  * Those with cleartype etc off previously had fonts that rendered
>    properly or they would not have been using their system with
>    cleartype etc off for all this time.
>  * Anyone previously using free fonts, on whatever platform, did not
>    have their choices overridden. This also applies to those using
>    dyslexic-friendly and other accessibility-oriented fonts.
>  * And so on.
>
>
> Given that no objective and verifiable issues with this were ever provided
> to explain the need for a shift to specific fonts across all platforms and
> languages in the first place, this means there should also be no issues
> with going back.
>
> -I


+1, but to me 'serif' rather than 'sans-serif' for the section headers is
nicer. YMMV and can certainly live with sans for section headers



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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Bjoern Hoehrmann
In reply to this post by Isarra Yos
* Isarra Yos wrote:

>5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font, which
>translates to the default font for the platform, had none of these
>problems, and resulted in fonts for all platforms which were good for
>those platforms (though perhaps not necessarily the best).
>
>  * Windows users got fonts optimised for Windows, and which Windows
>    knows well how to render. They may not be free, but /we/ weren't the
>    ones prioritising the non-free.
>  * Linux users got whatever (probably free) font their distribution
>    provides, for which in all likelihood their fontconfig (rendering
>    settings) is also optimised.
>  * Those with cleartype etc off previously had fonts that rendered
>    properly or they would not have been using their system with
>    cleartype etc off for all this time.
>  * Anyone previously using free fonts, on whatever platform, did not
>    have their choices overridden. This also applies to those using
>    dyslexic-friendly and other accessibility-oriented fonts.
>  * And so on.
>
>
>Given that no objective and verifiable issues with this were ever
>provided to explain the need for a shift to specific fonts across all
>platforms and languages in the first place, this means there should also
>be no issues with going back.

Sounds very good to me.
--
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Isarra Yos
In reply to this post by Martijn Hoekstra
On 07/04/14 21:03, Martijn Hoekstra wrote:
> +1, but to me 'serif' rather than 'sans-serif' for the section headers is
> nicer. YMMV and can certainly live with sans for section headers
>
Having different serif for the headers with sans-serif content can be a
bit dangerous, depending on the fonts in question (or just plain in
general, depending on the language - not all even have concepts of serif
and sans-serif, or treat them the same way). If a platform has serif and
sans-serif fonts that were specifically designed to work together (with
consistent dimensions, weight, etc), indeed, it can work quite well.
There's just no guarantee that this will be the case on all unless you
use webfonts (gw2 does this to good effect, for instance), as even the
default fonts may not be from the same sets.

-I

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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Chad
In reply to this post by Isarra Yos
This. Let's go back to what we *know* worked.

-Chad
On Apr 7, 2014 1:52 PM, "Isarra Yos" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 07/04/14 20:19, Jon Robson wrote:
>
>> After the deploy last Thursday various users on Village Pumps bug
>> reports and external sites (e.g. Twitter and Reddit) were informing us
>> that the new typography was unreadable. Sadly it was difficult to
>> distinguish whether this was simply a dislike of the new fonts or
>> something deeper related to a bug.
>>
>> After lots of experimentation and reaching out to users on Friday, we
>> discovered that the free fonts in the stack were rendering very poorly
>> on some Windows machines. I experimented with some live hacks to beta
>> labs to try and identify the problems [1] with a user who was
>> experiencing the problem. I tested various things like
>> text-size-adjust and font size. The problem that caused the text to be
>> unreadable for the user was the Liberation Sans font [2]
>>
>> I tried to restore Arimo [3] and although it was fine for this
>> particular user, it wasn't fine for another user, meaning both our
>> fonts were causing issues. As a result, I have pulled together a small
>> patch to remove these fonts [4]. This is meant as only a short term
>> solution.
>>
>> As for a long term solution, what can we do? Ideas in my head involve
>> 1) Picking a new open font that is either
>> ** widely available on Linux but not so much on Windows
>> ** renders well in Windows
>> 2) We create our own open font, maybe forking an existing font.
>> 3) We restore these two fonts to the font stack but using JavaScript
>> either enable or disable them on Windows machines
>> 4) We identify the issues here with the existing fonts, filing
>> upstream bugs and find a timeframe in which we can restore them by
>> 5) Insert your idea here
>>
>> I welcome your ideas on how we can find an open font that keeps all users
>> happy.
>>
>> Is it worth opening an RFC on MediaWiki.org to discuss our options some
>> more?
>>
>> [1] http://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=
>> MediaWiki:Common.css&action=history
>> [2] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/86501
>> [3] http://en.m.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:
>> MobileDiff/86501...86502
>> [4] https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/124387
>>
>
> 5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font, which
> translates to the default font for the platform, had none of these
> problems, and resulted in fonts for all platforms which were good for those
> platforms (though perhaps not necessarily the best).
>
>  * Windows users got fonts optimised for Windows, and which Windows
>    knows well how to render. They may not be free, but /we/ weren't the
>    ones prioritising the non-free.
>  * Linux users got whatever (probably free) font their distribution
>    provides, for which in all likelihood their fontconfig (rendering
>    settings) is also optimised.
>  * Those with cleartype etc off previously had fonts that rendered
>    properly or they would not have been using their system with
>    cleartype etc off for all this time.
>  * Anyone previously using free fonts, on whatever platform, did not
>    have their choices overridden. This also applies to those using
>    dyslexic-friendly and other accessibility-oriented fonts.
>  * And so on.
>
>
> Given that no objective and verifiable issues with this were ever provided
> to explain the need for a shift to specific fonts across all platforms and
> languages in the first place, this means there should also be no issues
> with going back.
>
> -I
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Erwin Dokter
In reply to this post by Isarra Yos
On 07-04-2014 22:52, Isarra Yos wrote:
>
> 5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font

+1 for option 5. I have posted my preliminary evaluation at [1] and [2],
which basically deals with why this update is so Latin-centric, and has
non-latin scripts users left with a totally useless font stack.

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Typography refresh#Evaluation
[2] https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=63512#c20

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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
In reply to this post by Chad
Chad writes:
 
> This. Let's go back to what we *know* worked.

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/124387/ has already been merged, so you're
/just/ late – unless you want to submit yet another patch reverting to sans-
serif.

                Tomasz




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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Isarra Yos
On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 1:52 PM, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font, which
> translates to the default font for the platform, had none of these
> problems, and resulted in fonts for all platforms which were good for those
> platforms (though perhaps not necessarily the best).


We're not going to do this.

 The idea that one bug requires a complete revert and even more disruption
for users is pretty absurd. Do we revert deployment of an extension every
time a bug occurs? No. We do it when the disruption caused by keeping the
new version is greater than taking it away again. This is not one of those
times.

We made the last change, which includes vital improvements besides slightly
altered body copy font family, after months of testing and prep. But all
new software has bugs, even "simple" LESS-only changes when they have a
scope this wide. The latest patch by Jon was a bug fix, but that doesn't
mean we're going to cause further disruption for users by completely
reverting back to the old defaults.

What we're going to do is discuss the options Jon laid out for trying to
promote free fonts in our stack, while also being practical and retaining
the enhancements that most users have been delivered so far. This is why we
iterate on changes in any realm of design and development.

I'll also nudge us here to remember that we cannot make design decisions
like this in a vacuum, without feedback from non-technical users. It wasn't
perfect, but we've been working hard to do that as part of Typography
Refresh. Jon's latest bug fix itself is based on reports from many users.
So far they've been thankful we did this.
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Jon Robson
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
I noticed from Kaldari's notes [1] that "Open sans" was rejected based
on language support and install base. I notice however that it is
pretty popular on the web [2,3]. Can someone elaborate on these
results as it is surprised me?

To me we can learn from this experience that install base (especially
where Windows is concerned) is probably not such an important factor.
The language support is more of an issue, but I wonder if this can be
resolved by specific font stacks with more suitable open fonts is
provided.

To improve install base we can easily iterate on this and start using
web fonts in some form in the future.

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Typography_refresh/Font_choice#Body_font_evaluation
[2] http://www.typeandgrids.com/blog/the-ten-most-popular-web-fonts-of-2013
[3] http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/03/12/taking-a-second-look-at-free-fonts/

On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Chad writes:
>
>> This. Let's go back to what we *know* worked.
>
> https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/124387/ has already been merged, so you're
> /just/ late - unless you want to submit yet another patch reverting to sans-
> serif.
>
>                 Tomasz
>
>
>
>
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Steven Walling
On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I noticed from Kaldari's notes [1] that "Open sans" was rejected based
> on language support and install base. I notice however that it is
> pretty popular on the web [2,3]. Can someone elaborate on these
> results as it is surprised me?
>
> To me we can learn from this experience that install base (especially
> where Windows is concerned) is probably not such an important factor.
> The language support is more of an issue, but I wonder if this can be
> resolved by specific font stacks with more suitable open fonts is
> provided.
>
> To improve install base we can easily iterate on this and start using
> web fonts in some form in the future.
>
> [1]
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Typography_refresh/Font_choice#Body_font_evaluation
> [2]
> http://www.typeandgrids.com/blog/the-ten-most-popular-web-fonts-of-2013
> [3]
> http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/03/12/taking-a-second-look-at-free-fonts/
>

A similar example is Google's Noto font (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noto_fonts). It has basically no default
install base that I'm aware of, but it's focused on readability in as many
scripts as possible and is Apache-licensed.
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Greg Grossmeier-2
In reply to this post by Steven Walling
Private/offlist

Steven,

I think you're missing what Issara and others like myself have
suggested: just reverting the fontstack part, not the
font-size/color/etc that are a part of the changeset.

Greg

<quote name="Steven Walling" date="2014-04-07" time="15:41:02 -0700">

> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 1:52 PM, Isarra Yos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 5) Restore the status quo - specifying 'sans-serif' as the font, which
> > translates to the default font for the platform, had none of these
> > problems, and resulted in fonts for all platforms which were good for those
> > platforms (though perhaps not necessarily the best).
>
>
> We're not going to do this.
>
>  The idea that one bug requires a complete revert and even more disruption
> for users is pretty absurd. Do we revert deployment of an extension every
> time a bug occurs? No. We do it when the disruption caused by keeping the
> new version is greater than taking it away again. This is not one of those
> times.
>
> We made the last change, which includes vital improvements besides slightly
> altered body copy font family, after months of testing and prep. But all
> new software has bugs, even "simple" LESS-only changes when they have a
> scope this wide. The latest patch by Jon was a bug fix, but that doesn't
> mean we're going to cause further disruption for users by completely
> reverting back to the old defaults.
>
> What we're going to do is discuss the options Jon laid out for trying to
> promote free fonts in our stack, while also being practical and retaining
> the enhancements that most users have been delivered so far. This is why we
> iterate on changes in any realm of design and development.
>
> I'll also nudge us here to remember that we cannot make design decisions
> like this in a vacuum, without feedback from non-technical users. It wasn't
> perfect, but we've been working hard to do that as part of Typography
> Refresh. Jon's latest bug fix itself is based on reports from many users.
> So far they've been thankful we did this.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Greg Grossmeier-2
<quote name="Greg Grossmeier" date="2014-04-07" time="15:57:39 -0700">
> Private/offlist

well crap.

--
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Brian Wolff
In reply to this post by Jon Robson-2
> Sadly it was difficult to
> distinguish whether this was simply a dislike of the new fonts or
> something deeper related to a bug.

Since, you're changing something primarily for aesthetic purposes (I think
anyways, all the accounts of why we even would want to change the font are
very hand wavey and I'm honestly unsure what the principle motivations
actually are), why isn't dislike of the new font a valid criticism? After
all, the reason you are changing it in the first place is that you
presumably did not like the old font.

> 5) Insert your idea here
>

Browsing through the feedback on this thing, there seems to an enormus
amount of hate in our userbase for it. Lots of that is of the form of "its
ugly" which some might argue is not constructive, but I personally think is
something that should be taken into consideration when there are so many
people making the complaint, and the change is mostly about aesthetics.
Others have more concrete criticisms about eye strain and non latin text
not working as good, etc.

Anyways to sum it up, this change is:
*Fixing something that most users think is not a problem [citation needed,
but that is my impression]
*Causing behavior that significant numbers of users do not like (e.g.
IDONTLIKEIT, its ugly, etc). A subset of users are experiancing behaviour
that is objectively bad
*In order to make it work acceptably, has to do something that a portion of
our community finds ideaologically questionable, if not outright
unacceptable. (Remember folks, we are a project built on ideaology.
Ideaology is important)

Given the above, it seems like a temporary revert until solutions to the
problems can be found, or a permenant revert if solutions can't be found,
may be advisible.

--bawolff
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Greg Grossmeier-2
On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM, Greg Grossmeier <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Private/offlist
>
> Steven,
>
> I think you're missing what Issara and others like myself have
> suggested: just reverting the fontstack part, not the
> font-size/color/etc that are a part of the changeset.
>
> Greg
>

Ha. :) Totally okay.
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Erwin Dokter
In reply to this post by Steven Walling
On 08-04-2014 00:45, Steven Walling wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I noticed from Kaldari's notes [1] that "Open sans" was rejected based
>> on language support and install base.
 >
> A similar example is Google's Noto font (
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noto_fonts). It has basically no default
> install base that I'm aware of, but it's focused on readability in as many
> scripts as possible and is Apache-licensed.

Noto is useless without a suitable localization mechanism.

I feel that I am not being taken seriously. Three times now I have
indicated what is wrong with this solution, namely that a single font
stack cannot possibly serve a global website.

I want to ask Steven and Jon how they plan on serving *all* the scripts
and languages in the world in a *single* font stack. There is not a
single font in existence that can possibly support all languages.

Again, this excercise is completely Latin-centered. Projects using
different script have no choice but to override to their native fonts,
and only Europe/Americas is left to 'enjoy' the new font stack.

Regards,
--
Erwin Dokter


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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Chad
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Chad writes:
>
> > This. Let's go back to what we *know* worked.
>
> https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/124387/ has already been merged, so
> you're
> /just/ late – unless you want to submit yet another patch reverting to
> sans-
> serif.
>
>
I would write said patch but I have no desire to get into WWIII on
Gerrit over it. I've already fixed the whole nasty mess anyway and
put MW back to how it should be[0]

-Chad

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:%5edemon/common.css
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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Jon Robson
In reply to this post by Erwin Dokter
> I feel that I am not being taken seriously. Three times now I have indicated
> what is wrong with this solution, namely that a single font stack cannot
> possibly serve a global website.

I'm sorry you feel this way, if I wasn't clear, I agree with you, but
I think where we disagree is that we could support multiple font
stacks based on language.

> I want to ask Steven and Jon how they plan on serving *all* the scripts and
> languages in the world in a *single* font stack. There is not a single font
> in existence that can possibly support all languages.
Yes I thought I had recognised this. See my message above:  "The
language support is more of an issue, but I wonder if this can be
resolved by specific font stacks with more suitable open fonts is
provided."
I think we have a great chance to iterate from here and get better
font stacks for all our languages. LESS supports configurable
variables after all.

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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Erwin Dokter
On 08-04-2014 01:14, Jon Robson wrote:
> Yes I thought I had recognised this. See my message above:  "The
> language support is more of an issue, but I wonder if this can be
> resolved by specific font stacks with more suitable open fonts is
> provided."
> I think we have a great chance to iterate from here and get better
> font stacks for all our languages. LESS supports configurable
> variables after all.

Ah OK. Wouldn't it be better then to implement this when MediaWiki has
sufficient support to discriminate requested languages and serve the
appropriate fontstack accordingly?

Also, most free fonts are Latin-only, and only a few (like Noto) aim for
global support. And all free fonts will have issues on Windows (with
font-smooting disabled). My priority is stil to go with What-Works-Best
for all, and less with Must-Include-Free-Font.

Regards,
--
Erwin Dokter


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Re: Free fonts and Windows users

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Erwin Dokter
On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM, Erwin Dokter <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I feel that I am not being taken seriously. Three times now I have
> indicated what is wrong with this solution, namely that a single font stack
> cannot possibly serve a global website.
>
> I want to ask Steven and Jon how they plan on serving *all* the scripts
> and languages in the world in a *single* font stack. There is not a single
> font in existence that can possibly support all languages.
>

I think we actually answered this up front at
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Typography_refresh#Is_there_a_perfect_font_that_meets_our_readability_needs_in_all_scripts.3F_Do_we_think_this_is_it.3F

Ultimately we're shooting for and getting a lot more consistency and
control over the user experience here, for most users. That doesn't meant
that it's perfect. There is definitely not a single font that is available
everywhere that supports all languages. That's why it's a font stack with
fallbacks. We definitely don't gain more consistency across the experience
by moving back to a situation where the styles basically just define no
style.


>
> Again, this excercise is completely Latin-centered. Projects using
> different script have no choice but to override to their native fonts, and
> only Europe/Americas is left to 'enjoy' the new font stack.
>

To add on to what Jon said: we're going to figure this out in discussion
with the communities. I don't think it's the case at all that users "have
no choice" if they want readable text in a non-Latin script. To use CJK as
an example: I actually was able to remove some local hacks that were
necessary before the new version. We'll keep working on it.
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