On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9:55 AM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) <bjorsch(a)wikimedia.org
I'm sad to see that they decided to go in the entirely opposite direction,
removing all mention of free fonts entirely in their font stack, and are
planning on forcing the non-free fonts on all Vector users (not just those
opted into the "beta") sometime in the week of February 24.
That's not quite accurate. The new font stack is based on feedback from
Linux users who preferred that we take advantage of the font-mapping built
into Linux rather than trying to guess arbitrary fonts that may or may not
be installed on their machine. "Helvetica", "Times", etc. are not
software, they are names of well-established (non-copyrighted) typefaces
that may or may not map to free fonts on a user's machine. We aren't
"forcing non-free fonts" on anyone. We're trying to balance the
requirements of the designers with feedback from actual users, especially
free-software users. The two exceptions to this are the tops of the stacks:
"Helvetica Neue" and "Georgia". These refer to specific non-free
Helvetica Neue is essentially Helvetica redesigned for web-browsing and
Georgia is essentially Times redesigned for web-browsing. These fonts
provide a better reading experience for users who have them installed, so
the designers wanted them to be preferred over the more generic typefaces.
No specific free fonts were identified by the designers that provided
equivalent quality (although I recommended numerous ones for evaluation).