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Programmatic programming font exploration (1overn.com)
47 points by Adrock on Jan 27, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

Hey Adrock,

From this (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2140643) thread:


Liberation Mono

Bitstream Vera Sans Mono




andale mono

More fonts listed in:


by way of ambirex

I like "Proggy Clean Slashed Zero", because it is readable at small sizes. http://www.proggyfonts.com/index.php?menu=download

Luxi Mono

Also, if you're a LaTeX fan, Computer Modern Typewriter makes a decent editor font. (http://canopus.iacp.dvo.ru/~panov/cm-unicode/download.html).

The download link doesn't have a preview image, but you can see one here: (http://www.identifont.com/find?font=Computer+Modern+Teletype...) It's like a nicer Courier.

I used to use it for everything, but at work I've settled on 16-point Inconsolata. On a 2560x1600 display it's very easy on the eyes.

I liked that the largest single-char difference between DejaVu Sans Mono and Droid Sans Mono is that the Droid version has a G in the style of Google's favicon.

After searching high and low for many years, I've settled on Akkurat Mono--a commercial font, well hinted, and gorgeous on Mac OS X.

edit: link: http://www.lineto.com/The+Fonts/Font+Categories/Text+Fonts/A...

Wow thats a beautiful font, thanks

Edit: 190.380 USD or 140 EUR, Really? How can a font be that expensive?... I could pay 10 to 20 euro but man, the price of this font is almost half of my rent...

Edit 2: Just discovered Inconsolata, also beautiful, and free http://www.levien.com/type/myfonts/inconsolata.html

It's expensive, true: but if you value your eyes, you should get something which is not fuzzy at common point sizes, but is still readable and with pleasing shapes even when rendering with sub-pixel anti-aliasing.

I do like Inconsolata as well.

I still love my standard XWindows fonts. My favorite is 6x13.

+No fuzzy font-smoothing edges to give you a headache.

+l's, 1', 0's, O's, and symbols are easily distinguished.

+doesn't take up too much space so I can have more code windows open

+wide Unicode support, just in case

+Works great with both programmers' editors. Yes, both. No need to fight.

+stable, proven, familiar, and established

What's going on with the symbols (%, #, @, etc.) in those comparisons? It looks like they're getting pulled from Courier New.

I recently discovered the M+ fonts (http://mplus-fonts.sourceforge.jp/mplus-outline-fonts/design...). "M+ 1m" is a very nice condensed monospace font that works well on my 13" MacBook Pro's small screen. However, there seems to be too much vertical space between lines, and it tends to be blurry at smaller font sizes, so I wouldn't recommend it 100%.

> What's going on with the symbols (%, #, @, etc.) in those comparisons? It looks like they're getting pulled from Courier New.

Mathematica can be really finicky regarding fonts in graphics when it comes to what it thinks of as "math" symbols. This has to do with the way that it typesets equations- most fonts won't have glyphs for integral symbols, for example. Let's say that for some odd reason you wanted to typeset an equation in Zapfino. Mathematica will be happy to do this, but since Zapfino lacks integral signs and numerous other mathematical symbols, Mathematica will helpfully substitute glyphs from its own built-in fonts "as needed."

Unfortunately, it can be overzealous about this- its definition of "as needed" is awfully broad. I recently had a seriously annoying problem involving a graph I was trying to export- I'd set the graph up using Optima, but the graph's title included parentheses and a percentage sign. It all looked fine on the screen, but upon exporting it I found that the (, ), and % were all in the wrong font, since Mathematica decided that those were math symbols and as such needed to be substituted out for glyphs from another font. Turns out there's a (well-hidden and poorly-documented) way to manually override this font-embedding behavior- if any Mathematica users out there are interested, drop me an email.

Someone was kind enough to comment on the post with this gem:

Style["( . ) ( . ) ", 60, FontFamily -> "Comic Sans MS", PrivateFontOptions -> {"OperatorSubstitution" -> False}]

Yup, that's the one. I would've included it in my post, but I couldn't quite remember the specific syntax. Even with this option, though, I ran into some irregularities involving font embedding and Adobe Illustrator.

Supposedly, the newest version of MMA has improved its font embedding behavior such that it all should "just work," but I haven't had a chance to test it out yet.

I evaluated this notebook with Mathematica 8, so it unfortunately doesn't just work.

This is a great visualisation. What's frustrating, and what few font designers seem to realise, is that it's not enough for two letters to be distinguishable if they're next to each other; I need to be able to glance at a lowercase L and know immediately that it isn't the number 1, even if there are no other l's or 1's in view. Many of these fonts have a very distinct lowercase L but the number 1 could go either way. Others have a distinctive number 1 but if you saw a variable named l you'd be momentarily confused.

My favorite programming font is Pragmata[1]. It is however, commercial and not very cheap.

[1] http://www.fsd.it/fonts/pragma.htm

I'd really appreciate any suggestions for additional fonts to include in my explorations. Also, any ideas for visualizations you'd like to see are welcomed!

I find using black for the common areas to be more useful visually. For the subtle shape differences, it is easier to pick out a fringe of color against black than the hue shift of lavender to cyan.

Great point. I'll do this in future posts.

Envy Code R has been my preference for years: http://damieng.com/blog/2008/05/26/envy-code-r-preview-7-cod...

jacquesm already listed most of the usual suspects, but I also recommend MonteCarlo (http://www.bok.net/MonteCarlo/).

I did a little exploration like this for the new MS fonts:


On my screen the color differences don't appear very obvious. Any ideas?

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