You say "we have failed miserably". Many fonts are mentioned and they are
all for the Latin script. Many fonts are mentioned and you fail to mention
the Open Dyslexic font.
I know from personal experience that Open Dyslexic makes a difference in
being able to read Wikipedia . We know that many people who want to
write in their own language need web fonts and input methods to do this in
the internet cafes where they write their articles.
This proves the point that webfonts does what it is there for; provide an
ability where there is none.
This whole huha of providing font support for the Latin script is stupid
unless a font does NOT support the characters needed to show a particular
language and YES most fonts are incomplete when they are to support all of
the Latin script.
Working towards a more beautiful viewing experience is a secondary
objective. Primary is that our readers and editors can read and edit.
ULS is a huge success in doing what it was intended to do. I am afraid that
we have lost sight of what our primary objective is about.
On 16 February 2014 09:13, Steven Walling <swalling(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 11:52 PM, Denis Jacquerye
Maybe I haven't looked in the right place,
but why aren’t webfonts being
Webfonts would mean the same fonts can be delivered everywhere, relying
installed font only as a last resort.
There are more options than just the 4 fonts mentioned (DejaVu Serif,
Nimbus Roman No9 L, Linux Libertine, Liberation Sans): PT Sans/PT Serif,
Droid Sans/Droid Serif and likes (Open Sans, Noto), the other Liberation
fonts and likes (Arimo, Tinos), Source Sans, Roboto, Ubuntu, Clear Sans,
you just want hinted fonts and household names.
I’ll also point out that Georgia is a great font originally designed for
small size, and Helvetica Neue/Helvetica/Arial was originally designed
display. When it comes to language coverage both
are lacking but that
cannot be fixed easily.
To add on to what Jared said...
On webfonts: it's not just that it would take "more research". We have
already tried webfonts and failed miserably so far.
UniversalLanguageSelector is an example of how even the most
well-intentioned efforts in this area can face serious setbacks. Keep in
mind also that this typography work is largely being done with volunteer or
side project time from myself, the developers, and most of the designers.
We are simply not prepared to implement and test a webfonts system to work
at Wikipedia scale.
There are many gorgeous, well-localized free fonts out there... but few
that meet our design goals are delivered universally in popular mobile and
desktop operating systems. We can't get a consistent and more readable
experience without delivering those as webfonts, and webfonts are not
practically an option open to us right now. Maybe in the future we will get
(as Jared says) a foundry to donate a custom free font for us, or maybe
we'll just use a gorgeous free font out there now, like Open Baskerville or
For now, however, we get the following result from the Typography Refresh
1. the vast majority of our 500 billion or more users get a more
2. we unify the typography across mobile and desktop devices, which is a
good thing for both Wikimedia and third party users of
3. individual users and individual wikis can still change their CSS as
needed and desired
4. we don't jeopardize Vector and MediaWiki's status as FOSS, by not
distributing nor creating a dependency on any proprietary software
*whatsoever*. Thank you, CSS font-family property and fallbacks.
That all sounds like a pretty good way to maintain freedom while improving
readability and consistency to me.
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