--- Comment #21 from Steven Walling <> ---
(In reply to Erwin Dokter from comment #20)
> 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 readers.
> 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.

I think it's exaggerating to say that, considering most Windows users do not in
fact have Liberation Sans nor Arimo. For the Windows users without font
smoothing turned on, Arial should work just fine. 

We plan on having a public retrospective in two weeks (see also:
[[en:Retrospective#Software development]]) where we can talk about the process
and results of the beta and first release. Your comments will be most welcome
there Erwin, since you've definitely been in the thick of responding to
questions/comments as much as anyone.

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