Doesn't the forum webfont need refurbishing?

I noticed, in my first week here, that the font is lacking Armenian. Today I also noticed it has no support for Vietnamese. Is that, uhm, deliberate?
One thing that might be considered an advantage is, that it is made really hard to mistake, say, a greek Alpha for an A (yes, no Greek either). But is that really the reason?

Comments

  • I assure you it is unintentional. I'll bring this up. Certainly we want the forums to be as inclusive as possible.
  • @James Puckett do you know off-hand if this is easy to do?
  • Vietnamese glyphs seem to be supported? Or is my browser using a fall-back font?

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  • The webfonts here were a quick slapdash afterthought with an aggressive subset and only minor css adjustments to the template. As far as I know no one has offered to donate a more robust option or to spend the time fixing anything, but, you know, knock yourselves out. 
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 814
    Bhikkhu, it's the fall-back font.
  • Bhikkhu, it's the fall-back font.
    Thanks. That's what I assumed, so why does your forum font need to support every language under the sun? 
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,421
    edited March 25
    The fonts are done with a few lines of CSS added in the Vanilla dashboard. The only issues we ever really had with language​ support were related to Vanilla usernames being limited to a small subset of Unicode, which I think is an anti-spam feature.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 624
    edited March 25
    Here's a closeup of the Vietnamese fall-back in Windows 10 Chrome.

    It limits the conversation. I'd prefer to see a system font so more languages can be supported. Yes, this is an English forum but we're often discussing characters which aren't.
  • Peter ConstablePeter Constable Posts: 111
    edited March 26
    Here's a closeup of the Vietnamese fall-back in Windows 10 Chrome.

    [snip]

    Here's what I see in Edge on Windows 10:

    Looks like it's probably the browser's font fallback.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,421
    Chrome on Mac seems to be falling back to a working version of Lucida. 
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 814
    Pretty sure it's Lucida Grande, the old OS X system font.

    When the site started, custom web fonts were still kind of a novelty and, since the site was created for type designers, it was cool to be able to feature the work of one of our members. If we want to support more languages, a custom webfont starts to make less sense as the file size could get pretty big. It would probably make more sense to use a system font, even if it's aesthetically less ideal. 
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 616
    Or you can use some kind of CSS skinning plug-in to specify your own local font-family. Why not.

    Personally, I don’t mind the Lucida Grande fallback. But that’s on Mac. Those Windows/Edge Times Roman and Windows/Chrome decomposed Lucida Sans Unicode fallbacks would probably drive me crazy. ;-)

    If the forum keeps using an @font-face webfont (whether Alright or something new), it seems to me that you could just specify a single generic fallback of 'sans-serif' afterward, so the user can get their preferred system fallback in these extended Unicode situations, and not cascade through a bunch of potentially weak options.
  • How about Noto?
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 814
    edited March 26
    Or Source Sans, which is about 50% smaller with roughly the same character set for the R/I/B/BI set and has additional weights if we need them. Of course, a system font would be a 100% smaller download.
  • Adrien TétarAdrien Tétar Posts: 209
    On Windows Lucida Sans Unicode would be a solid fallback.
  • On Windows Lucida Sans Unicode would be a solid fallback.
    I don't think so. On Windows 10 my Lucida Sans Unicode only has 8 of 256 glyphs in Latin Extended Additional. 
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 616
    edited March 27
    Yes, as one can see in Ray’s example, the Latin Extended Additional range is not well-supported in Lucida Sans Unicode, unfortunately. (At least, not in the version 5.0 that I have on my Mac; nor the one that Ray has, it seems.)
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 69
    edited March 27
    @Hrant H. Papazian
    How is Noto the answer, when the Armenian, among other scripts, is not still incorporated into the main files, instead residing in a separate file? Do we make a custom version?
    Btw that's the most hilarious thing about Noto, which was intended as short for "no tofu".
  • You can simply list them one after another in the CSS font-stack, and if a character is missing in the first listed font, the second one will be tried for the characters, and so on. For cases where you’re not using multiple alphabets all the time, it seems to me like that would be the better solution anyway.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 69
    edited March 28
    Right, I was not fully aware the fallback worked for specific glyphs, I obliviously assumed it's either one font - if it is found - or the other. Thanks a lot for clarifying that!

  • Adrien TétarAdrien Tétar Posts: 209
    It is 2017, you don’t need all scripts in a single font file (and you can’t, the glyph limit for OpenType fonts is 65535 glyphs per font file).

    Yea and talking about Noto, there are I think some scripts with different metrics set + they scale the latin glyphs to work with them so I'm not sure they could be losslessly combined even without the size constraint.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 69
    edited March 29
    The scripts having their own font files then make sense, as we could use Noto Sans as the font for Latin and Noto Armenian Serif to help distinguish it from Latin but still retain stylistic coherence, we could choose either of the Arabic styles, etc.
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