Please screenshot renderings via multiple important renderer, important ex: Apple Safari on a Retina box (highlights weird over-bolding due to their hinting prefs), Chrome and Firefox on Windows (both use Freetype, but custom builds and don't quite match stock), and anything normal on a Linux that doesn't use a hacked up Freetype (ergo Ubuntu is out, so is RHEL/Centos and Fedora).
Also, in both white on black and black on white, because font rendering is non-linear in respect to the 2.2 gamma curve (fun fact: everybody still uses 1.8 gamma for font rendering).
Your definition of "normal", "important" Linux _excludes_ Ubuntu, RHEL/CentOS, and Fedora?
I get your point about hacked up FreeType, but given that the three largest distributions on the planet are excluded from your list doesn't really gel.
The "playground" feature of the website even has a feature for comparing Interface with Roboto. When you do, and you look at the details, you'll find that Interface is actually quite different from Roboto, at least as far as "different" goes with utilitarian UI fonts. https://rsms.me/interface/lab/?size=22&compare=roboto
Here is a screenshot comparing Roboto (11.5px) to InterfaceRSMS (11px), which illustrates: http://imgur.com/a/nl5mp
There are plenty of UI typefaces out there that take a noticeably different approach, an easy comparison to Lucida Grande is probably enough to justify the point. (EDIT: for completeness, http://imgur.com/a/CjD06)
The most informed comparision can be made when the x-height is optically equivalent. The other option, cap height, isn't as useful because it is then harder to judge the lowercase (a majority of the letterforms).
Sure, you shouldn't be designing an interface with those sizes, but it may be something to consider for some zooming interfaces (primarily maps with lots of tags: street names, POIs, etc.)
At least I think that's the issue.
Anyhow, the version of Roboto served from google fonts is an older version and a subset of the "real" roboto, as can be fetched from roboto's source code repository. If you have Roboto installed locally, you probably have the more recent and more complete version installed and will likely want to compare with that (rather than what's on google fonts.)
Edit: https://twitter.com/stuartpb/status/900484392472109056 points out that @import must be at the beginning of a style declaration. Website has been updated.
(Looks like you have to run
brew tap caskroom/fonts
Edit: Dear downvoters, what I am saying is that you can take any ramdom sans serif, reduce the letter-spacing and you end up with a similar looking font face which might be even more balanced. Despite my criticism, I expressed my high appreciation that the creator offers his work for free. If you disagree let me know why instead of downvoting, maybe I am wrong and missed something.
Another poster just commented that it looks like Roboto (or is even based on Roboto) and Roboto faces the same issues but not that worse. Roboto itself is a mutated Helvetica Neue which is admittedly a reference sans serif where every other sans looks inferior amd kind of turned out badly in comparison.
This may be OK for text, but specifically for user interfaces, this is the very first thing I check when considering whether a font is usable.
With a good font, it will be immediately obvious which of these amounts is more, while this font would likely mislead you:
Ironically, Roboto seems to get it right.
What other glyph ambiguities do you look out for on new fonts?
The hope is to add a stylistic set for character disambiguation to the font, which when enabled would enable graphic features on glyphs like upper-case "i" and lower-case "l", zero and "O", and so on. Tracked here: https://github.com/rsms/interface/issues/1
Though not abiguous in sharing the exact same shapes, many characters can share similar structures that (arguably; citation needed) can cause visual confusion. For example;
3 and 8 in a typeface like Helvetica are very similar. Opening the aperture of the 3 or using a form with a corner in the upper right can be observed in some UI typefaces.
The "single story a" can be an issue in typefaces that ise it, adding to the plethora of round forms (eopdqbc etc.). Breaking up the monotony of those shapes is also frequently advised.
"Tail-less" t and r in sans type can be problematic at small sizes.
Wish a slash like in my coding fonts was the norm in USA.
Damn, I never noticed that. Now I hate the typeface on my keycaps.
A slash or a dot in the middle would be nice.
If this is a deliberate near-clone of Roboto, then at the very least there should be some explanation of how it differs and why.
Didn't Tahoma achieve this back in 1995?
Amazing job to the author!
Although I don't have a HIDPI display, it is nicer and (subjectively) more readable than what I've tried before (I still use Fira Code for coding and Fira Mono inside the terminal, but for the UI tried various variations of Fira, Roboto and other sans serif fonts, yet none of them stuck).
I've been using Frama-C recently, with the option of \forall or ∀, for example. The latter is more readable, but a pain to type. I'll have to try some of these.
This package only installs the OTF version currently.
Let me know if you have any problems installing.
We really need good open source fonts.
With retina/high DPI displays? Not so much.