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  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 
I tried to restore Arimo  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 . This is meant as only a short term
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.
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?
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.