[PD] font issues/questions, and also discrepancies between operating systems

Dan Wilcox danomatika at gmail.com
Sun Jan 26 14:59:03 CET 2020

> On Jan 26, 2020, at 12:00 PM, pd-list-request at lists.iem.at wrote:
> As far as my cross-platofrms issues, I guess things don't look that much
> terrible at all if we have actual different fonts for iemgui labels. But
> now that I know about it, it annoys me that other fonts besides DejaVu Sans
> Mono aren't really there.

The "Times" and "Helvetica" font-families are more, or less, standard on most platforms and fall back to near-equivalent "Serif" and "Sans-Serif" fonts. This has been well-established for a while and also holds true as both of these are considered "web-safe font" families, ie. more or less guaranteed to be available on most web browsers:  https://www.w3schools.com/cssref/css_websafe_fonts.asp <https://www.w3schools.com/cssref/css_websafe_fonts.asp>

"Times New Roman", Times, serif

Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif

What you are probably seeing is that those *specific* fonts are not always available due to licensing, as buying macOS or Windows usually includes licensing for some 3rd party fonts while using a free system may not, a fall back is provided that is similar but not exactly the same.

> Perhaps this can be taken care just by mentioning
> in the documentation somewhere (if you don't have times/helvetica
> installed, similar fonts are loaded).

It could be added to the existing font/README.txt: https://github.com/pure-data/pure-data/blob/master/font/README.txt <https://github.com/pure-data/pure-data/blob/master/font/README.txt>

> It doesn't seem worth doing more than
> that and trying to ship the same group of 3 fonts like we're doing with
> dejavu, right?

We could do that by shipping DejaVu Sans and DejaVu Serif https://dejavu-fonts.github.io <https://dejavu-fonts.github.io/>

"DejaVu Serif", "Times New Roman", Times, serif

"DejaVu Sans", Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif

Or, alternatively, choose a "safer fonts" than Helvetica and Times but I feel that will still not guarantee as close a match as using the exact same font on all platforms. As we have seen, it's working relatively well with DejaVu Sans Mono. 

Dan Wilcox
@danomatika <http://twitter.com/danomatika>
danomatika.com <http://danomatika.com/>
robotcowboy.com <http://robotcowboy.com/>

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