On 28/10/13 02:32, Tim Starling wrote:
There is the separate issue that on my Linux laptop,
Nimbus Sans L
looks worse than the font my browser will choose for sans-serif. That
is because I have customised Firefox to use the Ubuntu font for
sans-serif, which is very readable. I find all the Arial clones to be
too narrow for comfortable reading.
-- Tim Starling
That reminds me of something of a point folks tend to forget - generally
the system font is chosen in part just because it renders well with the
system font renderer, so overriding that can have unexpected side
effects in terms of legibility. How the same font (or its clone) renders
can vary significantly across systems, so even if a font type looks good
on a mac, for instance, it may look bad on windows or even be downright
unreadable on linux with a fontconfig which simply wasn't written with
the specific font in mind.
I found this to be a good part why arial was so damn unreadable on my
linux setup, for instance, though even with it rendering properly now
it's still narrower than I find comfortable as well. Perhaps this is
just because I'm used to wider, but going against what people are used
to (and thus have effectively trained their brains upon), or especially
what they might have specifically customised (in particular large or
dyslexic fonts come to mind as a specific usability issue here), also
seems like an odd move.
And yes, I know it's a standard move that websites tend to make. It's
still odd, and I can't say I like that folks are trying to take
mediawiki/wikimedia in a similar direction, even without the question of
whether or not the specifics are free or not.