--- Comment #20 from Erwin Dokter <> ---
If I see the term "free font commitment" one more time, I am going to scream...

I was not enthausiastic in the beginning, but was willing to give it a try. But
now that it has gone live, there are simply too many issues that were not
anticipated (even by me). I am going to list all the issues:

1. Free fonts render bad on Windows (at least without font smoothing).

Even though font smooting has been the default since Vista, I was suprised to
see how many people have it disabled (for whatever reason). I don't know how
many exactly, but the response suggests it is not a negligable part of our

Only fonts made by/for Microsoft have been hinted for screens without font
smoothing or ClearType. Other FOSS fonts are hinted but only for scenarios with
font smoothing enabled, not for 'grid display' (pixel diplay hinting).

But not only free font are a problem; There are very bad copies of Helvetica
floating around (HP printer drivers for example) that display atrocious with or
without smooting. That means carrying Helvitica in the font stack also carries
the risk of bad display.

2. Only Latin script is targeted.

That means only languages based on Latin, and perhaps Cyrillic, could benefit
from the typography refresh. Other scripts, most notably, Hebrew, CJK, Hindi,
Arabic and all other non-Latin based scripts that usually depend on ohter fonts
such as David, Batang and MS Gothic on Windows for proper display, have *never*
been considered. This is perhaps the largest oversight of all.

In conclusion, it is impossible to target *all* platforms *and* scripts in one
single font stack. And I believe we should no longer try. There is not going to
be a 'solution'; we are not a "single language" website, where typography has
much more freedon because it only has to deal with one script or language.

I am now convinced that a single font stack for a website, or more
specifically, the software running that website, that has to deal with the
*most* languages and scripts then *any* other website, is simply not possible.

Each project should have the freedom of choice to decide on their own font
stacks to suit their needs as best they can. From the point of view from
MediaWiki, that means it should not force any specific font at all.

Has this been for nothing? I don't think so, because we could learn a lot from
this and perhaps work on other solutions to help each project with their
typography. But in its own right, the "Typograhy refresh" has failed as an
practical solution.

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