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Adobe Releases New Openly Licensed Coding Font

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the since-when-was-adobe-this-cool dept.

Open Source 136

tqft writes "From the sourceforge page: 'Source Sans is a set of monospaced OpenType fonts that have been designed to work well coding environments. This family of fonts is a complementary design to the Source Sans family.' License: Open Font License 1.1 (OFL 1.1) (both FSF and DFSG free). Hope to see it Debian (& other) repositories soon." The example text doesn't really look too much better than Inconsolata. But, hey, who can complain about more liberally licensed fonts?

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Serif (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456329)

Hilarious that they call this "Sans" when it's got so damn many serifs on it.

Re:Serif (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456571)

For the record, this font does *not* have Serif in its name (it's Source Code Pro).

That was a shock (1)

tqft (619476) | about 2 years ago | (#41456347)

Actually accepted submission.

Fonts annoy me. So many licences, variability and availability and differences machine to machine. Like standards I suppose so many to choose from and non completely compatible.

Re:That was a shock (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41456607)

Fonts are a huge issue because we need them to, you know, communicate. The license you are looking for is "completely free to use and modify". That way you know that not only are you able to use it, but the font is going to be maintained and stick around, making life easier for everybody.

The typography landscape is littered with quality fonts that nobody uses because they are not free to maintain.

Re:That was a shock (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41456733)

Fonts annoy me. So many licences, variability and availability and differences machine to machine. Like standards I suppose so many to choose from and non completely compatible.

Well, the standard is pretty much the Microsoft-Apple TrueType (designed as a competing standard to Adobe PostScript fonts). (Yes, Microsoft and Apple worked on TrueType together, during the 90s when they were fierce enemies). Even then it's not a simple spec because it's actually quite difficult to lay out text nicely.

One of the jobs of a typesetter is to actually arrange the page so the text flows properly, and it's more of an art than a science. It's why TrueType implements a virtual machine to help with the automatic arrangement of characters.

It's also why designing a font is damn hard - creating the character shapes is the easiest part, but doing the necessary back end work to ensure it looks pleasant to the eye no matter the word/letter combinations is difficult (hence the virtual machine). And then there's Unicode, so you have to way more shapes to contend with (luckily a lot of them get by with monospace).

Finally, the licenses reflect the fact that fonts are a tool - so there's a lot of complexity in them. First, printing them out means having to send the font over at times (if it's not rasterized locally), so you need to enable translation of the font to the printer's natively language. Then you need to consider that electronic documents may need to embed fonts in them to look the same on every computer, even the ones without the font, but that embedding is now distribution of the font.

The license is complex purely because copyright law doesn't cover it terribly well. Embedding is a form of distribution and derivative work. Printing can mean creating a derivative work so the printer can rasterize it. Then there may be distribution if you want to send it to a printing press so they need the font as well...

As for raster fonts - they're great, but when you're dealing with high res screens, they start to show their chunkiness. I just wish some of the nice raster fonts were availble as TrueType so they can scale up nicely and be razor sharp on high res "retina" screens.

Re:That was a shock (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#41457163)

I just wish some of the nice raster fonts were availble as TrueType so they can scale up nicely and be razor sharp on high res "retina" screens.

Well, there's always the FontSubstitutes Registry entry in Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes

Re:That was a shock (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41457241)

One of the jobs of a typesetter is to actually arrange the page so the text flows properly, and it's more of an art than a science. It's why TrueType implements a virtual machine to help with the automatic arrangement of characters.

That's kerning. TrueType solves this problem with a static kerning table.

The virtual machine is for hinting - adjusting the outlines so that they still produce reasonable bitmaps at small point sizes. It has nothing to do with the flow of text.

Re:That was a shock (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41459445)

Well, the standard is pretty much the Microsoft-Apple TrueType (designed as a competing standard to Adobe PostScript fonts).

The 90's called, and they want their vector font formats back. The modern standard is OpenType, which is a merger of Truetype and Adobe's Postscript formats with additional standardized features to handle complex layout as found in the Sanskrit derived scripts of South and South East Asia.

Call me a dinosaur... (3, Insightful)

rnturn (11092) | about 2 years ago | (#41456377)

... but is this really better than good ol' Courier?

Personally, I find san-serif fonts a bit of a strain to read for long periods of time. For a while Lucida typewriter was fine but I keep switching back to Courier.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456485)

Courier FTW! I don't understand why you would ever want to use Consolas, or anything else.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41456737)

Courier FTW! I don't understand why you would ever want to use Consolas, or anything else.

Quality hinting maybe? No copyright problems maybe? Lots of weights maybe, for example, true bold?

(Note: I haven't actually checked this font for quality hinting yet, and the comment about "in this world of retina displays" worries me, because Apple just punts on hinting. Which is offensive to the eye, and the reason that Apple has no choice but to offer stupidly high resolution displays, and even then the lower quality of nonhinted fonts is readily apparent to the eye. Notice it once, and you will never be able to ignore it again.)

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 2 years ago | (#41457119)

Hinting looks like utter shit. The only way I can tell the difference between hinted fonts and when anti-aliasing is totally turned off is by the CPU usage. The ultra-visible pixels are an utter eyesore.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41457291)

Apparently you have your eyes on backwards.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (5, Informative)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41457431)

Let me be more specific. Think about a lower case m. We want each of the three vertical strokes to look exactly the same, even if antialiased. Your eye will really complain if this isn't the case, even on a high resolution display. (If not then don't worry about it, quality anything is not for you. You can save a lot of money on stereo equipement.) Hinting will adjust those three strokes to be equally separated in terms of pixel units, even if exact alignment to pixel boundaries is not possible. Then if you display the same font much larger, the strokes will be allowed to move to the exact positions defined by the artist. Hopefully, showing good taste. That's just the beginning of it, hinting a huge and subtle topic. Trying to pretend it doesn't matter, or actually lowers quality, does nothing but demonstrate ignorance.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41460587)

Note: I haven't actually checked this font for quality hinting yet, and the comment about "in this world of retina displays" worries me, because Apple just punts on hinting.

Hinting is a hack, required because of the inherent problems with rasterizing vector fonts at low resolutions. When you do this, something needs to give, since there simply aren't enough pixels to represent the image with good fidelity; it's basically trying to cram 20 pounds of information in a 10-pound bag. Increasing the DPI enough makes hinting unnecessary.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41457439)

Will probably be a long time before I move away from Consolas. Only one of the smaller monospace fonts that I can continuously scroll through a code file and spot typos, at least the only one that plays well with high resolution LCD displays.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (3, Interesting)

Dwedit (232252) | about 2 years ago | (#41456499)

"Good ol' Courier" is that font where the 1 and lowercase L look almost the same. At least the uppercase i looks distinct in that font.
I use Consolas now.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

McDee (105077) | about 2 years ago | (#41456573)

Yep worked with a lot of monospaced fonts and Consolas is about as good as I've found. Of course, if anyone out there knows of a better font I'm always interested in hearing about it...

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about 2 years ago | (#41456831)

I kinda like consolas. I have gotten so used to seeing it I made it the default for my email editor as well. It is pretty easy on the eyes, I just wish VS2012 was.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459903)

I loved Consolas when it first came out but after awhile it started to look like some monospaced hybrid of comic sans and courier to me.

My favorite coding font is Droid Sans Mono. I love it.

Deja Vu is nice too, but a bit too tall for my taste; I also like Liberation Mono.

This new font from Adobe has a lot of promise--I tried it and liked it almost as much as Droid Sans Mono. It's obvious they're still working on it, even though it is currently "ready for prime time," as they put it in their announcement. My guess is as they polish it and add features it will be competitive with the best coding fonts. I'm sure I'll try it again to see if it grows on me relative to Droid Sans Mono.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

slapout (93640) | about 2 years ago | (#41456545)

Courier just looks too much like a typewriter. I can't stare at it for long periods of time.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | about 2 years ago | (#41456567)

8ut there are lots of reasons to switch away from Courier. 0ne obvious reason is that l made four easy-to-over1ook typos in this post alone.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456627)

There's only three typos in your post and believe me they're very easy to see on a system where fonts are displayed properly instead of being hammered into sub-pixels.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456703)

There's only three typos in your post and believe me they're very easy to see on a system where fonts are displayed properly instead of being hammered into sub-pixels.

Nope, four:
8ut - 8 not B
0ne - 0 not O
that l made - lower case L not I
easy-to-over1ook - 1 not l

not so easy to see I guess.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#41457441)

1 R3aD l337 S0 3A5Y T0 5P07

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41458445)

Nope, four:
8ut - 8 not B
0ne - 0 not O
that l made - lower case L not I
easy-to-over1ook - 1 not l

not so easy to see I guess.

I just thought zero but the post was made from a mobile phone...

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#41459229)

Il = Upper case "i" followed by a lower case "L"

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461327)

Actually, I believed for some time that the former North Korean premier was Kim Yong the Second ...

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41457047)

Wow, talk about looking like a fool.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41457739)

Wow, I don't think you could have made his point any better right there.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (4, Informative)

TheMMaster (527904) | about 2 years ago | (#41456657)

Which is why the 'allow websites to choose their own fonts, instead of my selection above' checkbox is unchecked on my Firefox :)

Your typos were trivial to spot in Dejavu Sans Mono which, incidentally, is my favorite monospace font! :D

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

ais523 (1172701) | about 2 years ago | (#41459065)

That post rendered in DejaVu Sans Mono for me too, because I don't have Courier New installed. (I missed the "over1ook", though, because although the 1 and l in DejaVu Sans Mono look very different, the 1 is passable as an l, even if the l isn't passable as a 1.)

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456893)

You'd probably notice if you're reading what you're writing, though.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

danlip (737336) | about 2 years ago | (#41456623)

Yes, much better than Courier. Of course there are many other fonts that are also much better than Courier, so I don't think this new font is really needed, but Courier majorly sucks, particularly the lowercase L, but overall just ugly.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#41456653)

You're a dinosaur.

... but is this really better than good ol' Courier?

I think it looks a bit nicer, but not sufficiently better than DejaVu Sans Mono or whatever the default monospaced font is on most Linux distributions. I probably won't bother to try it out.

For the last six months I've been using a proportional font (DejaVu Sans, I think) in Eclipse. I'm not interested in going back. I lose out on within-line tabs, but it's easier to read. If I really need to see things in a fixed width font I can go into block editing mode (Shift-Alt-A).

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 2 years ago | (#41456883)

To be honest, I did download it and try it out -- and I much prefer DejaVu mono. I'm sure some of that is what I'm used to, but the Adobe font seems too light to me. In particular, I rather dislike the shorter ex-height (which the author points out as an advantage); I think that it looks even more stretched horizontally than many monospace fonts. It also renders weird for me, but that may just be my setup or something.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#41456661)

The digital version is too spindly since it preserves the original digitization's having been a stroke font rather than outline and is drawn w/ too narrow a pen.

It's also too clean and lacks the charm of the original (when it was typewritten using an IBM typewriter).

I actually rather like Computer/Latin Modern Mono:

http://mirrors.ctan.org/fonts/lm/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmmonoltcond10-regular.otf [ctan.org]

William

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#41456993)

... but is this really better than good ol' Courier?

Personally, I find san-serif fonts a bit of a strain to read for long periods of time. For a while Lucida typewriter was fine but I keep switching back to Courier.

I have tried the font for 5 minutes in gvim. Then I have tried to try it again.

They went WAY overboard with the anti-aliasing: it's like the whole code is GLOWING. (It might be better on light background. But then, no sane coder uses a light background for coding, right?)

Went back to the usual Courier New (and the occasional Andale Mono).

So no, you are not a dinosaur. You simply have the rare condition: you're allergic to fads.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (4, Interesting)

nahdude812 (88157) | about 2 years ago | (#41457325)

But then, no sane coder uses a light background for coding, right?

Actually a light background is (somewhat counter-intuitively) easier on the eyes, especially in dim lighting scenarios. The reason comes down to the optical properties of your eyes, which we can talk about in camera terms. A narrow aperture creates a broad depth of field, while a narrow aperture creates a very shallow depth of field. Bright scenery requires a narrow aperture and a broad depth of field, while dark scenery (is certainly moodier) requires a wide open aperture and a very shallow depth of field.

That means that the brighter things are, the smaller your iris is, the more movement you can have in your head without your screen really going out of focus. Very dark setups with dark code (the stereotypical coding setup, it certainly looks cool) actually lead to more eye strain than a bright working environment and white background on your code. Eye strain is caused by constantly shifting focus, and that is alleviated by bright environs and bright code. Dark setups can require only a few millimeters of movement before your eyes are having to refocus. Bright setups can give you several centimeters of movement.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41458393)

Tell that to my eyes.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (4, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#41458983)

Eye strain is caused by constantly shifting focus

That's one cause. Excessive illumination is another, as a person with sensitive eyes quickly discovers after staring at a white background for a few seconds and experiencing strain and tearing. Focus changes in particular, do not cause eyestrain in nearsighted people because we are used to blur and have acquired the ability to read text through a much wider depth of field.

Whatever the cause, brightness sensitivity is much more common among the coders I know, and white backgrounds are the worst possible thing to look at. This used to be exacerbated by CRTs with 60Hz default refresh rate. Looking at the 60Hz white background of a default Windows installation causes eyestrain and tearing within thirty seconds, making any work impossible without deep squinting. We thus become proficient at switching the color scheme as quickly as possible. Windows 7, of course, makes this more difficult, as Aero does not support changing the theme background, so a classic theme must first be enabled.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

sowth (748135) | about 2 years ago | (#41460755)

So...you are saying staring at a light bulb all day is good for your eyes. Good to know.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2)

eulernet (1132389) | about 2 years ago | (#41461211)

You are right that a white background is good for the eyes, as long as it's not too lit. Reading on white background and CRTs was painful, and black background was better when LCD were not common.

You are wrong about movement.
Nowadays screens are large, so we need to move our eyes, but it's not efficient.
There are muscles that we do not exercize.
You can try the following exercize: try to rotate your eyes clockwise, then anticlockwise. You'll notice that it hurts !
In fact, EMDR is a therapy based upon eyes movement, and it helps activating left and right brain hemispheres.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#41458839)

But then, no sane coder uses a light background for coding, right?

I suppose when you take notes with pen on paper you use white ink on black paper, too? And when you print it out, the page comes out all smeared solid with black toner, with the white paper showing through only where the character strokes are? Strange indeed ...

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41459939)

Pen? Paper? Do they still make these things? Weird!

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (2)

Drishmung (458368) | about 2 years ago | (#41457113)

... but is this really better than good ol' Courier?

Personally, I find san-serif fonts a bit of a strain to read for long periods of time. For a while Lucida typewriter was fine but I keep switching back to Courier.

Yes. :) Well, for me. (De gustibus non disputandum est.) I find Courier to be ugly, and for coding in particular it has too many letter forms that are confusingly similar.

Of the fixed width fonts I have installed, I'd rank them best to worst as:

  1. Inconsolata
  2. Consolas
  3. Source Code Pro
  4. Monaco
  5. Andale Mono
  6. Menlo
  7. Courier
  8. Courier New

The only reason to even keep Courier around is because I get documents that specify it, or when I need to look like it was written on an old typewriter---though for that I'd be tempted to install Harting.

ffs - your wrists are so limp your elbows sag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41458201)

All this obsessing about font details is the same stuff that got you beat up in high school.

It'd get you beat up as an adult, too, except it's now the rule, rather than the exception, to be obsessive.

Someday, I hope some hairy, smelly guys catch you in a dark alley and tattoo "interior decorator" on your forehead.

Using Comic Sans.

Re:ffs - your wrists are so limp your elbows sag (1)

Drishmung (458368) | about 2 years ago | (#41459517)

Ah, I can't help but recall that when Oscar Wilde was asked why he thought America was such a violent society, he replied "because you have such ugly wallpaper".

There, have I confirmed your prejudices now?

So, you revile good taste, consider love of beauty a weakness and "Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning!"

(Sorry to disappoint you by the way, but I never got beat up in high school, and I'm not obsessive, an interior decorator, an artist, celibate, gay, or an anonymous coward.)

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#41457211)

Exactly. That's why I code in Verdana. It's much easier to read than monospaced fonts and a lot more fits on the screen at one time.

Re:Call me a dinosaur... (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41459911)

Do you honestly find Courier easier to read? It really doesn't do a very good job of differentiating similar characters.

And I have to suspect you've subsumed the "sans fonts are harder to read" meme to the point where it effects your actual reading skills. Note that this idea, standard among web "experts", doesn't have much in the way of scientific basis [alexpoole.info] .

monospaced fonts are yucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456461)

Am I the only person who thinks code looks better and is more readable with proportional font spacing? And am I the only person who really doesn't confuse O/0, l/I/1, or ./,? Granted, some of this comes from using a text editor with syntax highlighting, but these days, who doesn't? In my opinion we should leave monospaced fonts back in the dark ages of type writers with only 80 discrete positions per line of text, including for writing code. I know there is still the problem of aligning multiple columns of text, but this is enough of an edge case that I can really do without it, given the overwhelming readability advantages of proportional fonts.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (3, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about 2 years ago | (#41456763)

Am I the only person who thinks code looks better and is more readable with proportional font spacing?

Probably. If you did much coding where you aligned things horizontally, like with a list of #define's in C, you'd probably rethink your assertion.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (1)

trewornan (608722) | about 2 years ago | (#41458817)

You shouldn't #define assertion anyway. It's really much better to #include "assert.h".

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (1)

trewornan (608722) | about 2 years ago | (#41458855)

ack, I mean <assert.h>

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 2 years ago | (#41459957)

Probably

Definitely. I think that if it weren't for monospaced fonts - I would have gone crazy...er.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41456781)

Am I the only person who thinks code looks better and is more readable with proportional font spacing?

You're the only one who thinks it's ok if tables don't line up and ascii art falls apart.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#41457227)

I haven't used ASCII art since I started coding on Windows about 20 years ago. I code in Verdana. All the other programmers tell me I'm wrong but they can't tell me why. Some of them switch and never go back.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (0)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41457315)

I haven't used ASCII art since I started coding on Windows about 20 years ago. I code in Verdana. All the other programmers tell me I'm wrong but they can't tell me why.

I can tell you why: because you have a crap attitude towards communicating with your coworkers.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#41458893)

Or vice versa.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 years ago | (#41458051)

All the other programmers tell me I'm wrong but they can't tell me why.

Can you tell them why you're right?

"Why you're wrong" is a readability issue, for people who pride themselves on code readability (which apparently doesn't include you or your co-workers). That would include things like a list of variable declarations, where the names are variable lengths, but you want the assignment operators and values to line up vertically regardless of how long the variable names are. That would apply to any list of key/value pairs where you want the keys to be left-aligned in one "column" and the values left-aligned in another "column". You can't line up all of those values with a proportionally-spaced font. I'd love to give you an example in this post but apparently Slashdot prefers to re-format multiple spaces.

Re:monospaced fonts are yucky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41458241)

Am I the only person who thinks code looks better and is more readable with proportional font spacing?

Yes. Definitely. You're insane. Report immediately to the bureau of script kiddie control. They'll make Soylent Green out of you.

Monospaced fonts are for Real Programmers. You don't qualify. Now toddle off, someone's hacking your PHP website.

Why? (3)

cgt (1976654) | about 2 years ago | (#41456469)

We've already got plenty of good fonts for programming, and this doesn't actually look that good.

Re:Why? (2)

Aviancer (645528) | about 2 years ago | (#41456525)

For that exact reason. It doesn't represent much license value to Adobe, so they figure they'll try to turn it into goodwill value.

Re:Why? (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#41456675)

This actually looks a bit better than my preferred font, Liberation Mono, at 4pt size. In particular, zero vs eight and parens/brackets/braces are more distinguishable.

You can never tell which fonts will still be legible in small sizes just by looking at the macro-sized versions.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41460061)

So don't use it. When you're setting up a new environment you scroll through all the fonts until you find one you like, right? Then you never change it until you get a new system. This just might add one more click to your process every few years. No real problem.

How about raster fonts (1)

rroman (2627559) | about 2 years ago | (#41456553)

I've never found a better font than the windows raster fonts, that are used in cmd.exe by default. They are very well readable even in 6x8 size. I'm not aware about any font that could compete with that.

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456601)

Personally I prefer the font used by PCs during text mode. Shame it's impossible to find a good recreation of those that doesn't lack tons of characters :/ Somebody should make a similar font and then try to include Unicode characters, not just the basic 256 character set.

Re:How about raster fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41457143)

What about Fixedsys [moviecorner.de] licensed under GNU GPLv2?

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#41456743)

Bitmap fonts have a sweet spot around 6x8 to 8x12, where their clarity and precision can definitely be more readable and pleasing than vector fonts.

But once you get into smaller sizes, pixel fonts have to do weird things to their shapes (like the 4x6 windows bitmap font), whereas antialiasing and subpixel rendering can actually express more shape per pixel for greater readable density. And for larger fonts, curves sweep over many more pixels and it starts to look jaggy without handling vectors.

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

rroman (2627559) | about 2 years ago | (#41457871)

I agree with the 6x8 and 8x12 sweet spot. It is true, that vector fonts can have more information per pixel than bitmap fonts, however, I didn't find any font smaller than 6x8 that is still readable. The 6x8 font seems to me that it is the smallest readable font possible. Correct me if I missed something.

Re:How about raster fonts (3, Funny)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#41458193)

This is my coding font: screenshot [imgur.com] It's a 4pt display of TFA's font, which almost the same but slightly clearer at that size than Liberation Mono, which I was using before.

It sometimes involves a bit of pixel hunting with digits before you get used to it, but I now use it for my standard daily coding environment. I like fitting EVERYTHING onscreen at once.

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

rroman (2627559) | about 2 years ago | (#41459043)

Wow. This is very tiny, that I almost need magnifier to read that, however, it is pretty readable. Thank you!

Re:How about raster fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459205)

Is it a free font ? Where is it available ?

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#41461325)

It's possible if subpixel rendering is working correctly (only works on LCDs and you get the occasional LCD with a reversed subpixel order which screws it up). Subpixel rendering exploits the fact that the eye has far better resoloution for intensity than for color and each pixel on a LCD is made up of three sub-pixels each in a different position (as well as a different color) by treating each subpixel like a pixel therefore effectively tripling the horizontal resolution.

Of course there is no theoretical reason why a subpixel bitmap font couldn't be made.

Re:How about raster fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41456813)

Try Profont. http://www.tobias-jung.de/seekingprofont/

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41456815)

I've never found a better font than the windows raster fonts, that are used in cmd.exe by default.

Oh good, why don't you steal them then?

Re:How about raster fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41458581)

I did. I used a raster to TTF converter and ran fixedsys through it. It's all I use for coding.

Re:How about raster fonts (2)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about 2 years ago | (#41456907)

Now if only we could put the command prompt fullscreen again!

Re:How about raster fonts (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#41458609)

CTRL+ALT+F1

CP 437 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41458273)

Good ol' codepage 437 is what I use -- Hell, I'm making a fully 3D terminal emulator (it's for a game engine), and I'm just extruding the CP-437 bitmap. [wikipedia.org]

yuck (1)

MagicM (85041) | about 2 years ago | (#41456665)

Tried it. Hated it. Back to Bitstream Vera Sans Mono [dafont.com] 10pt in Zenburn.

Re:yuck (1)

ais523 (1172701) | about 2 years ago | (#41459083)

You probably want to use DejaVu Sans Mono instead. It's basically the same font (and was based on it), but has much better Unicode support.

Proggy Fonts (1)

LMahesa (1582059) | about 2 years ago | (#41456989)

How does this compare with Proggy Fonts [proggyfonts.com] , particularly the slashed-zero bold punctuation variant? That font was superb for legibility at a small font size, great for an at-a-glance overview of code without having to scroll.

Similar to DejaVu Sans Mono (1)

rduke15 (721841) | about 2 years ago | (#41457277)

Install instructions send you to an Adobe web page which only mentions Windows and Mac. But it turned out that in Ubuntu 12.04, double-clicking the .ttf opens it in a font viewer with handy "Install" button.

Comparing the "Regular" version to DejaVu Sans Mono, they look very similar, except the the DejaVu is a bit "fatter".
The semi-bold version is bolder than the plain DejaVu, but also seems smaller.

For the lazy, this is the .zip content:

$ ls -Ago src/SourceCodePro_FontsOnly-1.009/
total 1132
-rwxr-xr-x 1 4622 Sep 21 02:12 LICENSE.txt
-rwxr-xr-x 1 4402 Sep 21 02:12 ReadMe.html
-rwxr-xr-x 1 79912 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Black.otf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 103764 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Black.ttf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 83792 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Bold.otf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 103512 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Bold.ttf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 76340 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-ExtraLight.otf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 104760 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-ExtraLight.ttf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 79940 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Light.otf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 104408 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Light.ttf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 10738 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodeProReadMe.html
-rwxr-xr-x 1 81384 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Regular.otf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 103820 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Regular.ttf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 81080 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Semibold.otf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 103500 Sep 21 02:12 SourceCodePro-Semibold.ttf

Consolas is Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41457459)

I don't like it - I'm sticking with Consolas for coding.

Looks like ubuntu monospace (1)

metamarmoset (2728667) | about 2 years ago | (#41457707)

I compared the sample texts from the adobe blog [adobe.com] with text typed into the ubuntu font showcase [ubuntu.com] (set to ubuntu monospace).

As far as I can tell, apart from the Adobe version of the small 'i' looking less attractive and their comma being more vertical, they are identical.

The ubuntu font was introduced [canonical.com] last year.

Re:Looks like ubuntu monospace (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | about 2 years ago | (#41460121)

> ubuntu mono and adobe source mono pro are almost identical ...

I am guessing you have not really spent too much time carefully choosing the best font for you.

Lighter weights are good (1)

jgerry (14280) | about 2 years ago | (#41458087)

I'm not sold on this being my new programming and terminal font just yet, but they've at least provided multiple weights to try. Whatever I use in OS X (Inconsolata normally) turns out looking fat and heavy. The lighter variants of Source Sans are a nice change from that.

Tried it .. and back to Envy Code R (1)

Bazouel (105242) | about 2 years ago | (#41458245)

It's personal taste, but I have yet to find a better font than Envy Code R (http://damieng.com/blog/2008/05/26/envy-code-r-preview-7-coding-font-released) for source code editing.

Re:Tried it .. and back to Envy Code R (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459623)

Thank you. I love it. Posted anonymously because I moderated you :p

Why? (1)

Cyrano de Maniac (60961) | about 2 years ago | (#41458395)

No disrespect to the font designer, but as far as I can tell this is a long-solved solved problem.

Perhaps I'm a font curmudgeon, however I've not found anything that bests Schumacher Clean for everyday console and editor use. I've used it for about 15 years, and I've can't think of a single thing I don't like about it, other than it's a pain to make it and other bitmap fonts available under Ubuntu. It's been a standard part of X distributions for ages and thus it's widely available.

Schumacher Clean just makes me feel all warm and wubbly inside.

Hinted fonts (1)

kriston (7886) | about 2 years ago | (#41459283)

Any time we can get high-quality hinted fonts for no charge is a good time.

Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41459721)

It will not reach Debian main until Adobe releases their font build toolkit under a free license. Until they do that the font will have to live in contrib.

ProFont (1)

gringer (252588) | about 2 years ago | (#41459739)

I prefer ProFont [tobias-jung.de] , but perhaps that's because I have a low-resolution screen (102ppi). I set up my console font for ProFont at size 8 (size 7 isn't quite clean enough for me). The "Source Code Pro" font has a taller line height at that size, and the dot on the 0 is pushed off to the left (and antialiased), which makes it harder to distinguish from O. ProFont gets around this by using a slash for 0, which is very obvious even at small sizes.

Finally! (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41459925)

Somebody finally figured out that continuous underlining makes source code hard to read!

Aside from that, I'm not too impressed. Most features are comparable to other programmer-oriented fonts. But the zero is ugly.

No Cyrillic character support (1)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | about 2 years ago | (#41460797)

Other than that, it is fine. But for me it is a deal breaker.

DejaVu Sans Mono (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 2 years ago | (#41460919)

Looks a whole lot like Bitstream Vera Sans Mono / DejaVu Sans Mono (same letter shapes and very similar spacing), but lighter. I like the ExtraLight variant. The Light variant seems to have some kerning differences from ExtraLight, seems to be "rounded" differently, and looks somewhat wrong.

Not a patch on AnonymousPro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41461197)

I tried this font but it's not a patch on [AnonymousPro], which has italics for a start and doesn't make mutt look like a grid of glyphs.

    [AnonymousPro]: http://www.ms-studio.com/FontSales/anonymouspro.html

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