I want to clarify Steven's point, which was mostly clear but I want to make
sure the details and rationale are pointed out.
When mixing serif and san-serif typefaces using any random two font faces
is not acceptable, therefore letting the browser/OS arbitrarily choose any
serif to pair with any san serif isn't acceptable, if we're following any
rules about pairing typefaces. This is a major argument for keeping font
specifications for both body and header, to keep these harmonious.
*Jared Zimmerman * \\ Director of User Experience \\ Wikimedia Foundation
M : +1 415 609 4043 | : @JaredZimmerman<https://twitter.com/JaredZimmerman>
On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM, Steven Walling <steven.walling(a)gmail.com>wrote;wrote:
On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 12:33 PM, Martijn Hoekstra
On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 8:13 PM, Erik Moeller
> On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM, Martijn Hoekstra
> <martijnhoekstra(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> > So, the font stack changes with regards to the status quo now change
> > nothing for Windows users, changes Helvetica -> Helvetica neue for
users and changes Arial, DejaVu Sans or Arimo for
amongst which Nimbus Sans L, maybe, maybe not.
Actually, it's a bit more complicated. All users get serif fonts for
headings, which they didn't before and which is probably the biggest
visual before/after difference. The serif fonts still prioritize
free/libre fonts over non-free ones.
The body fonts prioritized free/libre fonts on deployments, but for
Windows users without ClearType/anti-aliasing, those render very
poorly, so they were disabled shortly after deployment. This is now
causing people to be upset because the initial agreement to never
prioritize non-free fonts is no longer maintained for the body.
Odder's patch would revert to sans-serif as a generic classification
for the body, but doesn't touch the font specification for the headers
(yet). The commit summary is a bit misleading in that regard.
Yes, I should have made that clear: I do very much support the Odder
patch ( https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/124475/
) that reverts
to sans serif and keeps
@content-heading-font-family: "Linux Libertine",
Georgia, Times, serif;
That is not the status quo, but the diff between the Odder patch and the
typography refresh basically is the "Set a non-free font stack to give
now Helvetica Neue rather than Helvetica",
with a -2 is planted in the
ground before as a demarcation line. That's the point that I don't think
worth having a non-free font-stack for, and that
I certainly think
your ground for the brave new world of typography
refresh is constructive
This is a persistent myth floating around about this. Neue for Mac users is
most definitely not the only effect of explicitly declaring the stack. As
Jared, S Page, and others have already pointed out, and as is stated in the
FAQ on mediawiki.org
, the impact of the current stack is:
-- Linux users get Nimbus Sans L, instead of DejaVu Sans, Liberation Sans,
or whatever else the default sans is on your distro. Nimbus has an improved
x-height and is much more consistent with the other sans-serifs we're
-- Windows users always get Arial, unless they have Helvetica installed.
This means many of the Windows users who might otherwise have set an
alternative sans in their browser default (like Verdana or Tahoma) will now
always get Arial.
-- And yes, Mac users or those with it installed get Neue Helvetica instead
of older version. This is a minor but worthwhile improvement for Mac users.
For example, Neue Helvetica actually has properly designed font weights for
bold, italic, etc. so that the cap height and x-height are consistent
between weights. Regular Helvetica was really not consistently designed
Declaring some of the system defaults explicitly is not only an improvement
for Mac users. It means that regardless of whether you switch between
devices/browsers, you always get a grotesque/neo-grotesque sans-serif (
) which is ideal for
reading long, large blocks of text and is more neutral.
My only nitpick about it is that I'm wondering what Times is doing in
that stack. I can't think of any situation where a user wouldn't have
Libertine or Georgia, but does have Times, yet
doesn't have it as its
default serif font. When one has specifically set a default serif
from Times, you probably have a good reason for
it - or at least a better
reason than the websites desire for Times, and we should respect that.
this beef is very small compared to all other
issues in this thread.
Times, like setting Helvetica, is there because it's what Linux systems
recognize and match to. Linux fc-match has no idea what Georgia and Linux
Libertine are unless you've installed them. By setting Times, we ensure
that Linux uses Nimbus Roman No9 L for headings, which complements the body
typeface selected on Linux well and which is consistent in style with the
other serifs specified.
A lot of this stuff is already documented in the FAQ on [[Typography
refresh]] on mediawiki.org
. We produced it to answer the basic questions
just like this.
There's some additional discussion about Georgia as a font choice due
to its use of text figures (AKA old-style numerals), which some people
find look odd in headings with numbers, especially in non-Latin
scripts where old-style numerals may not be commonly encountered. Due
to this, some are arguing for also changing the style for headings to
serif (_not_ sans-serif) as a generic classification, or removing
Georgia from the stack. That particular issue hasn't been discussed in
detail yet, as far as I can see.
I think the differences of opinion here are not worth a holy war.
Prioritizing a non-free font before free ones for the _body_ with a
clear FIXME indicating that this is not a desirable state is IMO only
marginally different from reverting to sans-serif until we have a
free/libre font that _can_ be prioritized for the body. So I think
either outcome should be OK for the short term, and we should focus on
the longer term question of a good font stack for the body that
prioritizes free/libre fonts.
Let's not polarize each other too much. All the arguments I've heard
have been fundamentally reasonable and rational, not just "Change is
evil". Some people hate the serifs per se, but that's a smaller
discussion compared to these conversations, which are about
substantial things that can be reasoned about.
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
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