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[Freefont-bugs] Re: FreeFont numerals

From: Primoz PETERLIN
Subject: [Freefont-bugs] Re: FreeFont numerals
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:07:26 +0100 (MET)


On Mon, 24 Feb 2003, Nick Lamb wrote:

> For practical reasons good "general purpose" fonts as I believe the FreeFonts
> are intended to be, usually force the 0-9 digits to the same width. I
> don't fully understand the technicalities of this, but that's how it looks
> to the user.
> This ensures that columns of figures line up without any special attention
> from the user, and that groups of digits which are non-arithmetic (such
> as unique identifiers, telephone numbers) look "regular" and are therefore
> more appealing to the eye.

I absolutely agree.

> Right now FreeSans and FreeSerif don't manage this, although FreeSans is
> not too far off. I hope you can fix this in a future version, since only
> a handful of glyphs are affected. If you need more information, don't
> hesitate.

The numerals already *are* of the same width: the numerals in Free Serif
(regular, bold, italic and bold italic) are 500 units wide, those in Free
Sans are 556 units wide, and those in Free Mono are 600 units wide.

The difference between URW++ Nimbus family (from which Freefont has
evolved) and Adobe Times/Helvetica is that the numerals in Nimbus are
kerned, while in Helvetica and Times they are not. So the question, as I
understand it, is whether we need the kerning information for numerals
which we inherited from URW++ Nimbus, or should we throw it away? Does
anybody else experiences problems like the ones described above?

I think this is important enough that I would appreciate some voice from
the user community, so I hope you don't mind me cc-ing to the
freefont-bugs list.

With kind regards,

- --
Primož Peterlin,   Inštitut za biofiziko, Med. fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani
Lipičeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija.  address@hidden
Tel +386-1-5437632, fax +386-1-4315127,
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