https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=61470

            Bug ID: 61470
           Summary: Helvetica Neue cannot render most combining characters
                    correctly
           Product: MediaWiki extensions
           Version: unspecified
          Hardware: All
                OS: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: major
          Priority: Unprioritized
         Component: VectorBeta
          Assignee: wikibugs-l@lists.wikimedia.org
          Reporter: rkald...@wikimedia.org
                CC: jared.zimmer...@wikimedia.org,
                    jforres...@wikimedia.org
       Web browser: ---
   Mobile Platform: ---

Created attachment 14609
  --> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/attachment.cgi?id=14609&action=edit
comparison between Helvetica and Helvetica Neue

I did more investigation on the rendering problems reported for Helvetica Neue
(the preferred content font in VectorBeta). It turns out Helvetica Neue has
serious problems with "combining characters"
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combining_character). The common ones are fine,
like grave accent, acute accent, tilde, umlaut, etc. But as soon as you try the
less common ones, the rendering goes to hell.

I don't know much about where these more obscure combining characters are used,
but I know they are common in Vietnamese (which uses a modified Latin
alphabet), and in the International Phonetic Alphabet (which is often used for
pronunciation guides on en.wiki).

The attached screenshot shows a sample of the problem. The left-hand column
shows the correct rendering in Helvetica and the right-hand column shows the
incorrect rendering in Helvetica Neue. I haven't done an inventory of which
characters display incorrectly, but most of the ones I tried randomly failed.
There are about 200 combining characters total in Unicode.

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