Re: Cantarell? (Was: Re: Planned GNOME Shell UI changes (was Re: String and UI Change Announcement))

On Wed, 2011-01-12 at 11:53 +0000, Allan Day wrote: 
> Andrew Cowie wrote:
> > On Mon, 2011-01-10 at 12:33 -0500, Owen Taylor wrote:
> > >  * The default font will be changing to Cantarell 
> > 
> > Cantarell?
> > 
> > If Cantarell is this, which says
> > 
> >         As my very first typeface design... designed for on-screen
> >         reading; in particular, reading web pages on an HTC Dream mobile
> >         phone ...  font file currently contains 391 glyphs
> > 
> > then at first glance it seems an odd choice.
> > 
> > DejaVu serves us well with outstanding coverage across the Unicode space
> > and one of the only fonts with complimentary Serif, Sans, and Sans Mono
> > families. Do we need to replace it?
> It's not a question of coverage; it's about style (though we need to use
> fonts that have good coverage, of course). The visual style that has
> been developed for GNOME 3 is one that aspires to be subtle and refined.
> Stylistically, Cantarell accords with that in a way that DejaVu does
> not. Another aim for GNOME 3 is to ensure that the new desktop is
> visually distinctive. Cantarell is a better choice than DejaVu here,
> too.
> I'm really excited that we're using this new font for GNOME 3; it has a
> really nice design and will give the new desktop an extra bit of
> sophistication.
> Allan

According to my fast check (which may be wrong) it seems that it does
not cover still used Greek alphabet (tech people aside it is still used
in greek language). It does not cover Cyrilic (used among others in
Russian) and Chinese and Hindi (I copy the names of national anthem from
wikipedia) as well. That alone would make early 40% of world's
population according to Wikipedia (sure - probably most Hindi users are
bilingual but they would still want to see their documents' titles -
fonts are even more important then translation)[1].

I don't think that using Latin alphabet (+ few extentions) + few others
(such as Arabic) should be requirement for GNOME 3.0. While it may not
be a problem for webpage (it is usually in one language controlled by
creator) it is for desktop where you will find large variety of

Sure - desktop font probably does not require ⊕ or ⊛ (although it would
be nice) but I don't think that cutting large portion of users justify
"subtle and refined" style.


[1] Ok. I've just added population of countries - but not fully
supporting displaying characters of 2 biggest countries in the world
would be rather bad starting from user experience through message sent
by Gnome ending on the marketing.

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