[IAEP] Fwd: #1690 UNSP: Retain font and size in Write Activity

Albert Cahalan acahalan at gmail.com
Sat Jan 30 13:01:06 EST 2010

Sascha Silbe writes:
> On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 10:57:55AM +0100, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:

>> Should we default to non-serif?
> ISTR others arguing that one of Serif/Non-Serif is better suited for
> paper and the other for screens

Remember that "screens" would normally mean very few pixels with which
to render the serifs. The serifs are forced to be much larger than the
font designer wants, misshapen, and not quite correctly positioned.

If you're using a large font on a 200 DPI screen, everything changes.
You're getting perhaps 3x the pixels in each direction, more like paper.

It's also important to remember that this isn't a choice that can be
made without affecting other aspects of the font. If "non-serif" is
mapped to DejaVu Sans, then readability will be poor because that
font has very non-standard character shapes.

> A well chosen default font (with the ability to override it via gconf)
> with decent coverage (resp. a set of fonts for different alphabets)
> would probably have a larger impact.

This reminds me of a usability problem. You think you are using font X,
and you hate it. You change to font Y, and it looks the same. This is
because in both cases you're really using font Z. Really, getting a
bunch of substitution glyphs (little rectangles) was more usable!

One can easily get a choice that looks like 20 fonts but is really 1.
Font selection would ideally be per-script, but obviously this info
can't be preserved in many document formats.

More information about the IAEP mailing list