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-   -   Droid Sans (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-desktop/363412-droid-sans.html)

Jeremy Perry 04-28-2010 09:16 PM

Droid Sans
 
On Apr 28, 2010, at 5:02 PM, William Jon McCann wrote:

> Hey,
>
> On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 4:21 PM, Bill Nottingham <notting@redhat.com> wrote:
>> Matthias Clasen (mclasen@redhat.com) said:
>>> On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 16:01 -0400, William Jon McCann wrote:
>>>> Hey,
>>>>
>>>> I think we want to consider switching to Droid Sans for the default
>>>> font. At the very least I want it included on the install/live media.
>>>> What do we need to do to make this happen?
>>>>
>>>> I seem to recall there were some technical reasons why we weren't able
>>>> to make this happen for F12.
>>>
>>> The two main issues are:
>>>
>>> 1) Some technical problem with the fontconfig configuration causes
>>> Japanese desktops to break if Droid is even installed.
>>>
>>> 2) Coverage: Droid may be ok for the US, and asian languages have their
>>> entirely separate fonts anyway, but Dejavu is much better in covering
>>> WGL and Eastern Europe. Droid will probably give users there a miserable
>>> mixture of fonts
>>
>> Given #2, especially... what is better about Droid Sans that makes it
>> a better option over DejaVu?
>
> Firstly, I should have been more clear that I would like to see Droid
> Sans be considered for the default UI font - not document font.
>
> I am not a typography expert. For my part, I think Droid looks a lot
> better and it was designed from the start to be a UI font, where
> DejaVu was not.
> My designer colleagues in Fedora and GNOME are much more knowledgeable
> about this and I've asked them to chime in with some details.
>
> As for the fallback stuff http://www.droidfonts.com/droidfonts/about/
> talks a bit about that and I wonder how Android is able to use these
> fonts and be used by I'd guess at least an order of magnitude more
> people than Fedora.
>
> For comparison here some UI fonts:
> * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segoe
> * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucida_Grande
> * http://typophile.com/node/58935
> * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droid_%28font%29
>
> Jon
>


Here is a quick rundown.

Things I know or are my opinions as a designer:
- Deja Vu Sans is a very vide font, and in many cases causes "ugly" ui because of the amount of space it consumes. Screen space is at a premium and this font makes the issue worse by being one of the widest out there. This is a big pain point in places like dialogs and skinny window titles.
- Deja Vu Sans is known to be tricky to render on screen - some letters just have awkward spacing and widths no matter what you do (bowls on d's seem compressed, etc). I blogged about this as it relates to Fedora: http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/jperry/2009/10/30/when-rendering-text-on-screen-every-pixel-counts/
- it looks old - compare it to any other modern UI.
- The bold is really quite bad and amplifies the issues above.

Things I dont know as fact but suspect about Deja Vu Sans
- Wasn't designed for UI use specifically. UI fonts are not made for documents, or vice versa.
- Hasn't been as rigorously crafted and tweaked by fontographers for best fitting and spacing

Jeremy

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Bill Nottingham 04-29-2010 03:16 AM

Droid Sans
 
Jeremy Perry (jeremy.perry@redhat.com) said:
> Here is a quick rundown.
>
> Things I know or are my opinions as a designer:
> - Deja Vu Sans is a very vide font, and in many cases causes "ugly" ui because of the amount of space it consumes. Screen space is at a premium and this font makes the issue worse by being one of the widest out there. This is a big pain point in places like dialogs and skinny window titles.
> - Deja Vu Sans is known to be tricky to render on screen - some letters just have awkward spacing and widths no matter what you do (bowls on d's seem compressed, etc). I blogged about this as it relates to Fedora: http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/jperry/2009/10/30/when-rendering-text-on-screen-every-pixel-counts/
> - it looks old - compare it to any other modern UI.
> - The bold is really quite bad and amplifies the issues above.
>
> Things I dont know as fact but suspect about Deja Vu Sans
> - Wasn't designed for UI use specifically. UI fonts are not made for documents, or vice versa.
> - Hasn't been as rigorously crafted and tweaked by fontographers for best fitting and spacing

OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:

http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/

if people are interested.

Billl
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Nicu Buculei 04-29-2010 05:38 AM

Droid Sans
 
On 04/29/2010 06:16 AM, Bill Nottingham wrote:
>
> OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:
>
> http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/
>
> if people are interested.

The Romanian version (that's what I use and care about) looks better
with Droid (less wide font) and the special characters ("ș" and "ț" are
usually problematic) are displayed correctly.

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Adam Jackson 04-29-2010 02:58 PM

Droid Sans
 
On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 23:16 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Jeremy Perry (jeremy.perry@redhat.com) said:
> > Here is a quick rundown.
> >
> > Things I know or are my opinions as a designer:
> > - Deja Vu Sans is a very vide font, and in many cases causes "ugly" ui because of the amount of space it consumes. Screen space is at a premium and this font makes the issue worse by being one of the widest out there. This is a big pain point in places like dialogs and skinny window titles.
> > - Deja Vu Sans is known to be tricky to render on screen - some letters just have awkward spacing and widths no matter what you do (bowls on d's seem compressed, etc). I blogged about this as it relates to Fedora: http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/jperry/2009/10/30/when-rendering-text-on-screen-every-pixel-counts/
> > - it looks old - compare it to any other modern UI.
> > - The bold is really quite bad and amplifies the issues above.
> >
> > Things I dont know as fact but suspect about Deja Vu Sans
> > - Wasn't designed for UI use specifically. UI fonts are not made for documents, or vice versa.
> > - Hasn't been as rigorously crafted and tweaked by fontographers for best fitting and spacing
>
> OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:
>
> http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/
>
> if people are interested.

Disclaimer: I only looked at the English images.

Droid is certainly thinner, which is probably worthwhile, but I'm not
sure it's uniformly better. The left vertical stroke in H in "Hardware"
looks like a hinting failure. That's sort of a general observation
though, vertical strokes don't look like they have consistent thickness,
and not for any apparent reason. Compare "Preferred". Might be
something hinting settings would help? But man do I wish we'd pick a
setting for that and stick with it.

The I in "Internet" and "VoIP" is really jarring; I appreciate that it's
capped to distinguish it from 'l', but I feel like either the caps
should be smaller or the right kerning should be looser.

On the plus side, I really like the /, and the 'wo' kerning is better.

- ajax
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Adam Jackson 04-29-2010 05:33 PM

Droid Sans
 
On Thu, 2010-04-29 at 10:58 -0400, Adam Jackson wrote:
> On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 23:16 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> > OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:
> >
> > http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/
> >
> > if people are interested.
>
> Disclaimer: I only looked at the English images.

Non-Roman script pages:

Japanese: clearly getting the same glyphs for all the actual kanji and
kana. But the ellipsis changes, and I like the droid ellipsis more.

Russian: Glyphs look like they match, so coverage looks to be pretty
equivalent. Narrower spacing with droid means less ellipsizing, which I
like. Can't comment on readability since I can't, you know, read it.

- ajax
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Matthias Clasen 04-29-2010 05:41 PM

Droid Sans
 
On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 23:16 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Jeremy Perry (jeremy.perry@redhat.com) said:
> > Here is a quick rundown.
> >
> > Things I know or are my opinions as a designer:
> > - Deja Vu Sans is a very vide font, and in many cases causes "ugly" ui because of the amount of space it consumes. Screen space is at a premium and this font makes the issue worse by being one of the widest out there. This is a big pain point in places like dialogs and skinny window titles.
> > - Deja Vu Sans is known to be tricky to render on screen - some letters just have awkward spacing and widths no matter what you do (bowls on d's seem compressed, etc). I blogged about this as it relates to Fedora: http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/jperry/2009/10/30/when-rendering-text-on-screen-every-pixel-counts/
> > - it looks old - compare it to any other modern UI.
> > - The bold is really quite bad and amplifies the issues above.
> >
> > Things I dont know as fact but suspect about Deja Vu Sans
> > - Wasn't designed for UI use specifically. UI fonts are not made for documents, or vice versa.
> > - Hasn't been as rigorously crafted and tweaked by fontographers for best fitting and spacing
>
> OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:
>
> http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/
>
> if people are interested.

So, based on those screenshots, and based on what people have commented
on here, it seems that 2) is not nearly as big of a problem in practice
than I was assuming. So, that leaves us with finding a brave fontconfig
hacker to get the Japanse<>Droid issue under control, then we have the
major technical issues solved.

That still leaves the question if we want to do this switch like any
other UI tweak, or tie it to the coming major UX change, the shell.
Peoplea are very sensitive to font changes, so it might be easier to
swallow it if comes coupled with an entirely new UX...


Matthias

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Jeremy Perry 04-29-2010 05:48 PM

Droid Sans
 
>
>
> That still leaves the question if we want to do this switch like any
> other UI tweak, or tie it to the coming major UX change, the shell.
> Peoplea are very sensitive to font changes, so it might be easier to
> swallow it if comes coupled with an entirely new UX...

Totally agree - this is exactly why we are asking the question now. It would be very appropriate to coincide the change with the shell.

Jeremy
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William Jon McCann 04-29-2010 05:50 PM

Droid Sans
 
Hey,

On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 1:41 PM, Matthias Clasen <mclasen@redhat.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 23:16 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
>> Jeremy Perry (jeremy.perry@redhat.com) said:
>> > Here is a quick rundown.
>> >
>> > Things I know or are my opinions as a designer:
>> > - Deja Vu Sans is a very vide font, and in many cases causes "ugly" ui because of the amount of space it consumes. Screen space is at a premium and this font makes the issue worse by being one of the widest out there. This is a big pain point in places like dialogs and skinny window titles.
>> > - Deja Vu Sans is known to be tricky to render on screen - some letters just have awkward spacing and widths no matter what you do (bowls on d's seem compressed, etc). I blogged about this as it relates to Fedora: http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/jperry/2009/10/30/when-rendering-text-on-screen-every-pixel-counts/
>> > - it looks old - compare it to any other modern UI.
>> > - The bold is really quite bad and amplifies the issues above.
>> >
>> > Things I dont know as fact but suspect about Deja Vu Sans
>> > - Wasn't designed for UI use specifically. UI fonts are not made for documents, or vice versa.
>> > - Hasn't been as rigorously crafted and tweaked by fontographers for best fitting and spacing
>>
>> OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:
>>
>> http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/
>>
>> if people are interested.
>
> So, based on those screenshots, and based on what people have commented
> on here, it seems that 2) is not nearly as big of a problem in practice
> than I was assuming. So, that leaves us with finding a brave fontconfig
> hacker to get the Japanse<>Droid issue under control, then we have the
> major technical issues solved.
>
> That still leaves the question if we want to do this switch like any
> other UI tweak, or tie it to the coming major UX change, the shell.
> Peoplea are very sensitive to font changes, so it might be easier to
> swallow it if comes coupled with an entirely new UX...

Right. I'd like to see us package and ship Droid on the media for F13
but consider making it default in F14.

Jon
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Dan Williams 04-29-2010 05:55 PM

Droid Sans
 
On Thu, 2010-04-29 at 10:58 -0400, Adam Jackson wrote:
> On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 23:16 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> > Jeremy Perry (jeremy.perry@redhat.com) said:
> > > Here is a quick rundown.
> > >
> > > Things I know or are my opinions as a designer:
> > > - Deja Vu Sans is a very vide font, and in many cases causes "ugly" ui because of the amount of space it consumes. Screen space is at a premium and this font makes the issue worse by being one of the widest out there. This is a big pain point in places like dialogs and skinny window titles.
> > > - Deja Vu Sans is known to be tricky to render on screen - some letters just have awkward spacing and widths no matter what you do (bowls on d's seem compressed, etc). I blogged about this as it relates to Fedora: http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/jperry/2009/10/30/when-rendering-text-on-screen-every-pixel-counts/
> > > - it looks old - compare it to any other modern UI.
> > > - The bold is really quite bad and amplifies the issues above.
> > >
> > > Things I dont know as fact but suspect about Deja Vu Sans
> > > - Wasn't designed for UI use specifically. UI fonts are not made for documents, or vice versa.
> > > - Hasn't been as rigorously crafted and tweaked by fontographers for best fitting and spacing
> >
> > OK. I did some quick comparisons which can be seen at:
> >
> > http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/
> >
> > if people are interested.
>
> Disclaimer: I only looked at the English images.
>
> Droid is certainly thinner, which is probably worthwhile, but I'm not
> sure it's uniformly better. The left vertical stroke in H in "Hardware"
> looks like a hinting failure. That's sort of a general observation
> though, vertical strokes don't look like they have consistent thickness,

http://notting.fedorapeople.org/font-tests/droid-en.png

Vertical strokes look really bad on u/n/h/m. Look at Sound,
Authentication, or Mouse; the tall vertical stroke on the left of the
'h' is 2x as wide as the short vertical stroke on the right.

It looks really tacky. Like a badly scaled down image.

Dan

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Bill Nottingham 04-29-2010 05:58 PM

Droid Sans
 
Matthias Clasen (mclasen@redhat.com) said:
> That still leaves the question if we want to do this switch like any
> other UI tweak, or tie it to the coming major UX change, the shell.
> Peoplea are very sensitive to font changes, so it might be easier to
> swallow it if comes coupled with an entirely new UX...

Also note that the shell (in my brief testing) completely ignores
the gnome2 default fonts settings. I'm guessing that's intentional, and
would have to be fixed by swapping the priority to make Droid the default
'sans' match in fontconfig.

Bill
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