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Oldies[edit]

Creating a free and open source typeface[edit]

A proposed free and open source typeface.pdf

Hi, I know this isn’t the typical business of Commons, but I am currently designing a typeface and would like to release it as a free and open source font with help from the Commons community. I’ve written a rationale for this font project that you can read at File:A proposed free and open source typeface.pdf (use pdf reader; pdf may not display with Firefox pdf.js). Typefaces are resources much like the images and video that Commons currently produces, and expanding into font creation I believe is a logical expansion of its mission. Please take a moment to take a look at my proposal, and perhaps test my font which lives on GitHub!

It is critical that we do not ignore the importance of type in the development of libre ecosystems. Typography has always been a stubborn holdout in this regard, and to this day there remain few free high-quality comprehensive text typefaces. Free type is mainly concentrated in a handful of flagship “superfonts” that contain a staggering catalog of glyphs, but lack greatly in the quality of design and typographic styles and features seen in professional type. To my knowledge, there are currently just two great open source text families—Gentium, which is still incomplete, and Linux Libertine, in addition to a few corporate gifts such as Adobe Source Serif and Bitstream Charter. To help fill the gap, I present my own original type design and ask for the Wikimedia projects’ help in finishing and releasing my font to provide a quality free font choice…

Kelvinsong talk 15:59, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

This font looks really lovely texts are convenient to read in it - thus I hope I can read Wikipedia articles in that font one day - including mathematical formulae of course. \frac{-4 \pm \sqrt{6^2-4 \times ac}}{2a} -- Rillke(q?) 23:39, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I love it, except for the crossbar in the capital A, which is very distracting to me. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:23, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
I’m not sure exactly what you mean. It's right where crossbars on A’s usually go. Is it too high? too low?—Kelvinsong talk 02:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The crossbar in the A also looks messed up to me (using MacOS X). Kaldari (talk) 06:25, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I checked the PDF in Windows and iOS and fail to see any glitch of the capital A. Maybe a screen cap from MacOS would explain the issue better. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 07:43, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
You can see my problem in this screenshot. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:23, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I noticed that in the small f: phab:F97280 - installed the otf font files under Windows. -- Rillke(q?) 11:59, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
That is very strange, I have never seen it do that! It usually happens when there is a contradicting intersection, but shouldn’t be happening there considering both contours are clockwise—Kelvinsong talk 22:32, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kaldari Rillke & User:TheDJ, I’ve fused the A crossbar and the f crossbar & pushed updated font files to github. Pls download & check to see if the problem is still there on ur computers—Kelvinsong talk 22:55, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah looks like expected now. Although not that eye-catching the "t" glyph is also affected; interestingly only with smaller font sizes: phab:F99875 -- Rillke(q?) 13:36, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
@Rillke Pictogram voting keep.svg FixedKelvinsong talk 22:14, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm no font expert, but your font looks elegant and classy. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 02:14, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks sm!!—Kelvinsong talk 02:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kelvinsong: Sounds like a great idea. I'm going to let the WMF designers know about it in case they want to contribute. One thing to keep in mind: The SIL Open Font License (which is one of the most popular free font licenses) covers use and distribution of the font as a whole, not the individual glyphs. If you want to make sure that your font is completely free (both the software and the design elements), I would suggest using a CC0 or CC-BY license (or dual-licensing with both CC and SIL licenses). Kaldari (talk) 06:24, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@User:Kaldari idk I was going to use GPL font license to avoid the whole Charter parallel design mess—Kelvinsong talk 22:48, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kelvinsong: GPL+FE works too. Don't be afraid to multi-license though :) Kaldari (talk) 23:08, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
This is a very nice font and well-designed. I hope I'll see this on Wikimedia projects at some point, and maybe even elsewhere on the web. Definitely my favorite custom serif font for paragraph texts. --GeorgeBarnick (talk) 07:00, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Very interesting and good-looking to my uneducated eye, but I guess that's up to the real font experts to judge (would it be possible to get feedback from a professional?). Just out of curiosity: What's wrong with Computer Modern/BlueSky/Latin Modern? --El Grafo (talk) 08:32, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
"It is critical that we do not ignore the importance of type in the development of libre ecosystems." YES! We discussed a lot about this topic and I'm personally very happy to see that you have stepped in so decidedly. Besides, I have seen several of your works without knowing that they came from the same designer. Congratulations for your skills, and thank you very much for your contributions.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 18:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@User:Kaldari & @User:GeorgeBarnick thank you sm for saying that!! ☺️
@User:El Grafo I’m not sure yet. All the major type designers communities went into strange decline in the past year but I’ll send some samples out. && I don’t want to get into a rant but Computer/Latin Modern is jsut a dreadfully designed font. It was not even created by a human; it was made by a computer with only a rudimentary sense of curve aesthetics. The italics are half-decent but unstandard & so hard to read for long stretches. It is a decorative font at best, and is very illegible for body text. If you want a didone font; use Didot or New caledonia. It also gives off an impression of laziness on the part of the author, and a tone of dreary technicality on the content. The only thing it does well is it works well with TeX (I heard, since I don’t use TeX).
@Qgil-WMF Thanks sm!! & any hint if this is something WMF will be taking a lasting interest in?—Kelvinsong talk 22:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kelvinsong:, Vibhabamba is UX designer at the WMF, and I recommend you to follow up with her. She has posted some advice below already.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 11:54, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Kelvinsong—Font type square.svg
I read about Google's w:Noto fonts recently (Noto = "No tofu") - that already has 98 fonts completed. Is that (code, main site, Apache licence) something that would be compatible with our needs, and your (fantastic, as always) efforts? I hope we can avoid competing standards and mass-duplication of labour, as well as getting the largest possible global installation-base. It might be ideal to collaborate on this existing effort? Quiddity (talk) 22:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Quiddity you are confusing fonts with apps. Fonts are in a way software. But they are not built nor used in the same way apps are. If I went out and built a new open source word processor, you might be justified in asking me why I didn’t just contribute to LibreOffice (though if u ask me, LibreOffice is a mess, not as bad as GIMP but approaching). That’s bc you only ever need one open source word processor & it’s better to have one really good Libreoffice than two lesser rival apps that do the same thing. But fonts are not apps. For one I cannot contribute to an existing font project in a meaningful way. I do not know who designed Noto (it seems to be credited to one “Google”) but only that designer can make more Noto glyphs. I, with my typographical experience can offer suggestions and critiques on his (or her) typeface & fix bugs. But I cannot directly contribute to it. Only Noto’s designer can design Noto Serif.
More importantly, diversity is a pro in type design, not a con. There is no such thing as “duplication of labor” or redundancy in type design, only lost potential. This is an extremely big issue & I could write a whole article about it. but anyway—specific reasons why it makes sense to create a new font:
  • I don’t really like Noto Serif : This might be a bit subjective, but personally I am not a fan of its design (largely lifted from Droid serif). Droid serif is at perfunctory glance a more polished interpretation of the “computer type” families. In essence gluing serifs onto sans fonts. Sometimes that works, some people like that, but to me it makes a font that’s uncomfortable to read. Don’t get me wrong. Droid serif is not a bad font—in fact it’s better than the professional fonts some of my textbooks are set in—just not my taste. It’s not exactly a design I am enthusiastic to contribute to, uk? ofc that could just be my own typographer’s bias
  • I couldn’t contribute to if I wanted to : basically see what I said before. Only Noto’s designer can design Noto Serif. I have done such a thing before, contributing IPA glyphs & stuff to existing fonts. You can get a decent grip on what the original designer meant but it’s difficult & basically what I would truly call wasted energy. —Kelvinsong talk 23:31, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
  • It wouldn’t be “our own” : Typefaces, even libre ones, have “owners”. Usually this is the company or organization that uses it the most. Google “owns” Roboto; Mozilla (w Google) “owns” Open Sans; Apple “owns” Helvetica, and big surprise, Google “owns” Droid/Noto. It’s a hard concept to put into words, but you get what I mean. Fira, Gentium, and Libertine don’t have this problem. You can just kind of smell it.
  • Noto isn’t really free : No typeface is (or should be) free as in gratis, but you could argue that Google’s superfonts aren’t even free as in speech. They’re more like legally-irrevocable gifts that we are allowed to use at Google’s grace. && Google has a poor track record with its treatment of the type design craft & I’m reluctant to give my labor to them. && see [1]
  • We still need new fonts : Even if Google was the most angelic company in the world; even if Noto was the best designed font in the history of the planet; even if its designer’s vision of the typeface was magically transferred to my heart, we would still need more choice in type. We’re starting to reach saturation with Linux distributions. Fonts still have a long way to go. Feel free to google “why we need new fonts”, because every type designer on the planet has been asked this question at some point, and some have written extensively on it.
I hope this makes sense I didn’t want to spend too long writing a long explanation of this topic—Kelvinsong talk 23:31, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kelvinsong: That helps immensely, thank you for the details. This proposed project is intriguing, and I wish it great success.
(Ramble: I adore the vast diversity of typefaces, and have spent many an hour browsing typography blogs/libraries/articles, and learning some of the nuances of the basics [Foundry:Family:Face:Font! But I still mix them up like a philistine, all too often >.< ], but most of my online font-usage-knowledge is still from circa '98-'02, when kottke's silkscreen was all the rage, hence I have somewhat outdated views particularly regarding embedded webfonts! Again, best of wishes for this proposal. I look forward to this elegant and accessible work of science and art. :) Quiddity (talk) 06:05, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
@User:Quiddity Thanks!! && btw a foundry is the font publisher (usually a company or artist collective; sometimes an individual). Family & face are the same thing; Font can either mean the same as Family or refer to a single instance of a family.—Kelvinsong talk 13:07, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kelvinsong: Hi! While I am taking a look at your typeface, it would be a good idea for you to submit it to Typographica. I could help connect you with Stephen Coles. Is there an email address where I can reach you? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vibhabamba (talk • contribs) 08:03, 19 March 2015‎ (UTC)
@User:Vibhabamba Yes, thank you! I just sent you a message —Kelvinsong talk 00:59, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Section break[edit]

Fontside old style figures.svg

Fun update: I programmed into the font the ability to insert old style figures into your documents even if the app you’re working in doesn’t support opentype, a possible fix for bugs like [2] on the font side. It’s on github now. Encapsulate figures you want to display that way with <onum></onum> tags, and the font will switch number styles without touching the underlying text data. To prevent unexpected behavior it also encourages you to type the closing </onum> tag. I suppose this could be extended to small capitals and superscripts—Kelvinsong talk 23:57, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

@Kelvinsong: @Rillke: FYI, with the appropriate install and a bit of CSS, it's perfectly possible to read Wikipedia with this right now (... and it looks quite nice). See this screenshot. Just add body { font-family: "SWIFTDAY3"; } to your common.css after installing. Personally, I detest the 'typography refresh' fonts... doing this doesn't keep the 'fallback' for things like Hangul or Korean text from working, though it ofc has no effect on the rendering of math. Now you need to make a sans display font for it so section headers aren't still ugly. :P Revent (talk) 07:07, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

I am indeed using it here at Commons since March, 16 for content texts but keeping navigational elements in sans-serif - it works very well for that and when I switch to another project I am usually missing it. Time to add it to my global CSS comes soon. -- Rillke(q?) 09:04, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Aww thank you sm for saying that! @Revent & @Rillke! && @Revent wow your wikipedia text is quite small, and I am surprised at how well my font is holding up at that size! I just need someone to see how it looks on mac/windows bc I am designing on Linux rn too… BTW if ur using the font locally, make sure you are updating from the Github repository every now and then bc I am improving the font almost daily :) . && also I really should think up a real name for the font before everyone starts calling it “SWIFTDAY3” lol—Kelvinsong talk 01:57, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I'm using Windows XP (SP3) and I can't use any Swiftday fonts downloaded from github... Windows Font installation says your (Swiftday3) otf files are damaged. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.)

@Kelvinsong: I'll give it a try on the iMac tomorrow, and give you another screenie of how it looks there. Revent (talk) 02:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

SC type square.svg

Another update—I added small capitals to the regular style of the font. Those without opentype apps can access them with “<sc></sc>” they’re on github now!—Kelvinsong talk 02:50, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Windows 7 screen shot

@Kelvinsong:: I realized that I should download the zip instead of "downloading" each file individually from your GitHub folder (never heard of this site) which doesn't work. But now I look at Swiftday3 in Windows Notepad and Wordpad, the same evenodd fill glitch (the previously reported capital A) pops up below 74 px font size. Regular: 4, 6, 8, 9, e, g, x, z (< all lower case); italic: 4, 6, 8, 9, A, H (<all capitals), f, t, x (< all lower case). All these glyphs appear normal at 75 px and onwards. When I make a sample SVG and load it in Firefox, the threshold of the evenodd fill glitch appears below 100 px. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 10:27, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

That’s cos of overlapping contours in multistroke letters like X. released fonts should not have these overlaps but I keep them there because they are required for editing. Not sure how to fix that rn bc fontforge doesn’t have a good way to fuse strokes before export to otf—Kelvinsong talk 14:22, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
@ Sameboat - 同舟 I relegated the overlaps to background layers please download and test again :) —Kelvinsong talk 21:42, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
@ User:Kelvinsong: Regular "8" is still glitchy. Also all English glyphs clump together weirdly... -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 23:32, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
@ Sameboat - 同舟 Strange. Looks like Windows is misinterpreting kerning pairs or something. U tried it with ur system language set to English? It is a latin font after all && maybe ur computer is trying to typset vertically or something—Kelvinsong talk 20:40, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
&& also I fixed the 8—Kelvinsong talk 21:39, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
There is no such issue with other English fonts like Arial and Times. And the options below is "western characters" which is the usual value for Latin glyphs. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 23:05, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
@Sameboat - 同舟 I think I fixed it try again w the newest commit <3 —Kelvinsong talk 14:03, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
@ User:Kelvinsong: Thanks. It works, but the line-height bugs me which is much smaller with other (English) fonts. In my Win7 screenshot, there is no empty line between the alphabets and numbers. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 15:39, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
@Sameboat - 同舟 The big line spacing is because of a large square root glyph (like √ but BIGGER) that lives in the font; it’s compensated for in the linux & mac font by the HHEAD field which cancels out the giant radical but I forgot to do the same for the windows font. I fixed it but for some reason Github is down rn :// —Kelvinsong talk 18:13, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Okayy it’s up now—Kelvinsong talk 19:47, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
@ User:Kelvinsong: Looks good now :) -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 22:20, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Yay! font’s getting closer to release now :) —Kelvinsong talk 02:36, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Section break 2[edit]

@User:Kelvinsong: I love old-style figures and want to use it in any given chance (visible if you have installed Swiftday or Adobe Garamond Pro:  which are the equivalences of figures of Georgia: 0123456789). My issue is assigning them to Japanese kana is uninviting for open usage because other participants without the said font(s) will only see tofu. I would rather have a variant of Swiftday so the old-style figures use the usual figure code points. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 03:27, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Update: After little online search, I found that the onum can be called out in this manner in Wiki and SVG: <span style="font-family:Swiftday3,Adobe Garamond Pro,serif;font-variant:small-caps">0123456789</span>(0123456789). Sadly, "font-variant" attribute seemingly isn't supported by librsvg. So even if Wikimedia has Swiftday3 installed on the server, the old-style figures aren't gonna be used for rendering SVG into PNG without typing the corresponding Japanese kana. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 15:01, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
@Sameboat - 同舟 It’s not assigned to Japanese kana; they live in the Private use area, the same place Adobe puts their old style numerals and small caps and swashes, etc. If those code points display Japanese kana then a font you have installed is invading that bloc with kana that shouldn’t be there. && yes u can invoke old style numerals with font-feature-settings or font-variant, or a million other hacks but those rarely work consistently which is why I included in the font portable compositors that let you type “<onum>123</onum>” and “<sc>abc</sc>” to get old style numerals and small caps.
PS svg text should always be rendered through an outlined “display” layer—unless they radically improve the renderer, I recommend text-to-paths with the text itself in an invisible text layer—Kelvinsong talk 22:00, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if there is similar mechanism of SVG which allows you to highlight-select the text-to-path object like actually selecting the raw text in PDF. But even so, I would normally not convert text to path in my SVG files due to file size it bloats. Not even the font style could justify this practice in my book. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 23:34, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
@Sameboat - 同舟 You cannot highlight in SVG at all? && letting the text be as SVG text might work for very simple files but rendering problems increase with file complexity—displaying outlines is the only safe way—Kelvinsong talk 00:19, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
@User:Kelvinsong: I mean I don't know how exactly this can be done in SVG. A simple code example will be appreciated. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 01:03, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
File:West Antarctic ice sheet.svg has something like that—Kelvinsong talk 23:10, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I see that you set display:none for the raw text, but this way the hidden text cannot be selected nor searched manually without accessing the source code. I have a workaround that we use fill-opacity:0;stroke-opacity:0 to hide the text because that way the invisible raw text can still be clicked and selected manually. opacity:0 will make the highlight invisible as well, it is still searchable but reader might misunderstand that the raw text doesn't exist in the SVG just like display:none does. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 02:15, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

March 16[edit]

Commons talk:We miss you#Should the people doing the missing be listed for each entry?[edit]

I'll looking for people who are interested in having a discussion about the format of the Commons:We miss you page. If anyone is interested, please join in. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:06, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm personally wondering about the inclusion criteria, because I saw someone add Penyulap the other day, and I don't think anyone missed them. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:29, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
That someone was me, and another user endorsed the entry via "thanks". I think that we should work out what the page should display before we work on the inclusion criteria for new entries. Abd suggested that entries should be seconded. I like that idea, but that's a discussion for another time. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:18, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
The page is untenable if it is necessary to establish consensus for inclusion. Hence "we miss you" could simply be interpreted to mean that more than one user misses the person, thus "we," and the first one as shown by an addition to the page, and the second, or more, as shown by listing additional users. If one person nominates, anyone may revert that, but then if another brings it back in, it should be accepted. Unless socking is shown, of course! The same person might have been seen as a PITA by nearly everyone else, might be blocked, banned, or excommunicated. Michael is correct that inclusion standards should be established, so that disruption is not caused by dispute over who is missed and who is not. The page should not become a debate. We can see a hint of this above, where clearly one person misses, and it was asserted as unlikely that anyone would miss that user. Obviously false, already known as such if anyone is paying attention. I don't know Pennylap from a HoleInTheWall, and don't need to. Let's keep it simple. --Abd (talk) 19:26, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

March 20[edit]