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Old 08-25-2019, 09:14 PM   #1
dugan
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LQ's typography is really bad if you don't have Microsoft fonts installed


If you don't have Microsoft's Core Fonts for the Web installed, LQ looks really bad.

Attached is how it looks on a new install of Manjaro i3.

It also looks like this on a new install of Slackware, and honestly, one of the first things I do on a new Slackware installation is install those fonts, pretty much specifically because LQ (and the official Slackware forum here) needs them.

I see that it's designed to use the Verdana font, which does not have a freer substitute. Yes, it's falling back to Arial, which on most distributions would be substituted with Liberation Sans. I'm 100 percent sure that it that's why it looks so bad; verdana is significantly wider than Arial, and that means that the fallback is a much narrower font than what the design was tested with.

LQ is actually the only site I visit regularly that has this problem. Everything else has switched to fonts that have a freer license and they just serve up the fonts along with the HTML and CSS.

Don't you think it's uncool for this forum, of all places, to have a design that is optimized for fonts that are only installed on Windows and OS X by default? A design that expects you to be browsing from a system that has those fonts installed?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	no_corefonts.png
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ID:	31210  

Last edited by dugan; 08-27-2019 at 06:42 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2019, 10:56 PM   #2
dugan
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And this is how it's supposed to look (screenshot taken on my Mac). Note how the fonts are much wider and horizontally roomier.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2019-08-25 at 8.55.32 PM.png
Views:	40
Size:	120.1 KB
ID:	31211  

Last edited by dugan; 08-26-2019 at 07:47 AM.
 
Old 08-26-2019, 01:49 AM   #3
ondoho
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This made me look at the source for one of LQ's pages.
The stylesheet is built into the HTML... ugh.
And yes, it has this in it:
Code:
Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif
I do have Verdana installed and I still think it sucks.
And it gets worse when fontconfig has ideas about what FOSS fonts to use to substitute MS fonts...

IMO, web pages should just use
Code:
sans-serif
or
Code:
serif
unless there's a very pressing reason to use other fonts.
That way users can adjust their browsers to use the fonts they themselves like.

Is this one of the many things to get fixed in LQ 2.0? Will we live to see it?
(don't want to sound ungrateful. Of course I love it, and the 1.x version does have its charms)
 
Old 08-26-2019, 02:30 AM   #4
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
I do have Verdana installed and I still think it sucks.
I neither got Verdana nor Arial installed and it (LQ) looks ok here.
Probably falls back to Helvetica, the third option, which is a standard adobe font which I do have installed, but it is a fixed point-size one:
-adobe-helvetica-medium-r-normal--14-100-100-100-p-76-iso8859-15
(etc.)
 
Old 08-26-2019, 08:39 AM   #5
rknichols
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
This made me look at the source for one of LQ's pages.
The stylesheet is built into the HTML... ugh.
And yes, it has this in it:
Code:
Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif
I do have Verdana installed and I still think it sucks.
I guess I'm just fortunate to not have any of those named fonts installed, so my browser falls back to its default "DejaVu Sans 13" and the site looks fine.
 
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:48 AM   #6
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rknichols View Post
I guess I'm just fortunate to not have any of those named fonts installed, so my browser falls back to its default "DejaVu Sans 13" and the site looks fine.
That's interesting, because Deja Vu Sans sure looks looks more like Verdana than Liberation Sans does.
 
Old 08-26-2019, 11:22 AM   #7
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
If you don't have Microsoft's Core Fonts for the Web installed, LQ looks really bad.
...
I tend to agree with you dugan. I always install Microsoft's core fonts, mainly so if I load up a document in LibreOffice Writer and it's in the Arial or Times New Roman fonts, it doesn't have to try and find the alternate open-source equivalent.

But I've noticed the fonts on sites like this one look better with MS core fonts installed. And I prefer Arial to the open-source equivalent. I'm sorry, but the open-source equivalent looks weird.
 
Old 08-26-2019, 01:25 PM   #8
fatmac
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Never had a problem with the forums, I just use whatever comes with it, &/or my distro.
 
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:55 PM   #9
frankbell
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I do not have Microsoft fonts (years ago I used to install TrueType fonts) on any of my machines; I just have the fonts that come with the distros I happen to be using. I've had no issues viewing LQ that are font related.

Sometimes I have an issue when someone posts an image that is really oversized, but it shows itself by making the "post" column way wider than normal.
 
Old 08-27-2019, 01:54 AM   #10
ondoho
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Of course it will look different depending on the fonts you have installed on your systems.
And, as ehartman pointed out, worst-case scenario is when fontconfig chooses the Helvetica bitmap font

That's why I and web designers recommend against specifying fonts beyond their generic names:
Code:
    cursive
    fantasy
    monospace
    serif
    sans-serif
I still enjoy the forums, it's not a biggie for me.
But the fix would be so simple...
 
Old 08-27-2019, 04:51 PM   #11
jeremy
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Thanks for the feedback. We'll be moving to WOFF2 for fonts in the future.

--jeremy
 
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
ondoho
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^ Which is sortof the opposite of what I stated. But it's all fine to me.
 
  


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