On 12/23/2013 06:06 PM, Jon Robson wrote:
On 23 Dec 2013 17:18, "Ryan Kaldari"
On the other side we have some vocal community
members and developers who
say that the preferred font must be a free font (but
they don't say which).
So what we end up with is a totally inconsistent experience which defeats
the entire purpose of the typography update.
This. We should go back to the community asking for this and get them to
decide on a suitable free font similar to Helvetica since they have brought
us into this discussion. Right now it seems like the camp that is agnostic
about free fonts (myself included) is struggling to find a suitable
alternative which seems unfair. If someone wants to see something happen
they should be prepared to help make that happen.
To be precise, what brought us into this discussion was the idea of
committing to certain proprietary fonts.
The vocal community members are saying that Wikimedia / MediaWiki
shouldn't be pointing to any proprietary product when there are free
alternatives available. We just ask the designers to stick to the same
principles of free knowledge and free software everybody else is following.
This is why this "side" has no strong opinion on specific fonts. We
agree that defining fonts is a task for designers, but still a task to
be performed under the same Wikimedia principles.
The recurrent argument from the pro-proprietary-fonts side is that no
free font is as good and has the wide install base. Following this
argument we would have never started a free encyclopedia from scratch,
because in 2001 anybody with a computer would most likely have access to
better proprietary encyclopedias with wide distribution.
But no, someone had a vision of a free encyclopedia that anyone can
edit, and now we have an amazing product. Following the same principle
and the same bet we should go for free fonts that anyone can edit. Fonts
that luckily we can choose (and eventually improve) without needing to
create them from scratch. We should do this despite the short term
inconveniences, aiming for the long term goal of a World with amazing
free fonts for everybody, perfectly suitable for our amazing projects.
This is the first part of the discussion. If we don't agree on the
points above then we will probably keep arguing about the points below.
If we agree on the points above then we have basically two strong
choices to reach consensus:
1. Choose the free fonts we want to commit to, seeing these fonts not
only as design objects but also as living open source projects we could
promote and get involved with. We should considering the translations
these free fonts have in systems missing them, but not being determined
2. Don't commit to any font. Point to serif / sans and let the browsers
do the rest.
According to the discussion so far, there is a possible third choice (a
weak one) to find a compromise, choosing some free and non-free fonts. I
consider this argument weak because I believe it is originated by a lack
of consensus in the points above about the free knowledge mission and
its relation with font choices.
PS: if you really need a starting point for the selection of free fonts,
two typefaces that the Wikimedia community has already selected in the
past are Linux Libertine and Gill Sans --
Technical Contributor Coordinator @ Wikimedia Foundation