EDIT: OK actually I just tried the hinted TTF version of Inconsolata from Google Fonts  and the stroke width is way better. Still crowded - like each glyph takes up juuuuuust a little too much of its bounding rectangle (whatever you would call that).
It's the lower-case 'i' that does it for me.
Fewer serifs in general allow me to read more quickly, I feel. 'i' has 1 to Consolas' 3, while lower case 'l' (L) has 2 to Consolas' 3.
One negative is that I much prefer Consolas' 0-with-slant to Source Code Pro's 0-with-dot.
By the way, the first link below is from a very cool resource I just found with votes and comparisons of many of the most popular choices: http://www.slant.co/topics/67/~what-are-the-best-programming... (It seems the web has become more informative on this topic than the last time I surveyed all the font options.)
Finally, this is what the designer of Source Code Pro, Paul D. Hunt, had to say about the two:
> Consolas is narrower than most monospaced fonts at 55% of the Em square, where I stuck with 60% for Source Code. If the narrowness is a top selling point for you, then Consolas is definitely king.
Have you tried Ubuntu Mono? http://www.google.com/fonts#ReviewPlace:refine/Collection:In...
(For reference, I use DejaVu Sans Mono, which is wonderfully plain and simple.)
And yes, Deja is a good alternative too. I certainly used that one for a while.
Have not tried it in Linux yet. But DejaVu is the only font yet that I've found satisfying on both Mac and Linux (with Ubuntu's font rendering patches)
Before this I was using Fantasque Sans Mono. Thanks for sharing!
Bitstream Vera Sans Mono
DejaVu Sans Mono
Droid Sans Mono
Source Code Pro
Verdana // yeah, Verdana is still a king of small
Edit: Dina has a lot of beauty. Nice blocky style once it's large enough. It's also excellent at a very tiny scale in a web browser.
Edit2: Sublime is giving very different and inconsistent results vs. some IDEs and other interfaces. Blah, really depends.
Not sure why you have proportional Verdana on the list though.
I like Envy's actual style otherwise though (in a larger size). I'll keep it in mind for design.
Here's an example, you might not like the zero: http://i.imgur.com/QNpR2Og.png
"But things won't line up, right?" Not exactly, but I find that such concerns were a bit of a distraction, anyway. With a little emacs command, I can switch back to monospace when needed, which isn't all that often.
Like others, I applaud the OP's work and always appreciate a new typeface. Just wanted to share the viewpoint.
It's apparently been renamed to "Fantasque Sans Mono", in part because it was suffering from the name similarity to Comic Sans... (a shame, I thought that was kind of funny :)
I find it nicely quirky/playful looking compared to the somewhat stolid appearance of many monospaced fonts, while still being extremely readable and practical... :]
I spend my life in idea IDE's on Linux and thanks to the shonky font rendering in swing apps on Linux the only two that I can standard are Deja Vu Sans Mono (which is nice) and Terminus at 16pt which then looks like Terminus bitmapped.
I have the following in my IDEA .desktop file:
export _JAVA_OPTIONS='-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on -Dswing.aatext=true' && idea.sh %u
This is the result: http://i.imgur.com/3V9Nf3k.png
While much better not quite right still and also I have some screens rotated so I have hrgb and vrgb which looks fuzzy, I played with setting it to gasp/lcd.
Using Terminus because it is a pixel perfect font with no aliasing means that rotation etc just don't matter.
The first time I googled monospace fonts, you see, to decide what I wanted to use when I was setting up my first IDE (intelliJ, I think it was), I saw a bunch of images of different fonts, and when I saw the 'l' of DejaVu Sans, my jaw dropped. It was beautiful.
You have that similar style of l. Source Code Pro has it, as does Ubuntu Mono and Menlo. It's that straight notch at the top with the curvy tail at the bottom. I love it. It's kinda quirky but elegant at the same time.
I'm still using DejaVu because many of those other ones have the asterisk symbol appearing too low for my taste.
I like your font. I see what someone else meant when they said it looks kinda 'fun'.
In your screenshot in the top left, I noticed the word 'int' looks a bit wonky. the n and t are kinda leaning into each other, with the i leaning outward. Character balance is a hard thing to achieve, I've read. Keep working on it, it's a very lovely project.
Then I found Meslo, which is some guy's attempt to copy Menlo and make it available for windows; this fixes my problem with Menlo, and also fixes my only problem with DejaVu : the dotted zeroes as opposed to slashed zeroes.
Current monospace font recommendation: Meslo
(Yes, I know why this is the case technically, but I don't need to get into that to make my point.)
Regarding PNGs, the samples are rendered with hRGB subpixel rendering. I don't think Macs have ever used anything else, but that may be a possibility. Hopefully its not just browser resizing.
Generally I like Mac OS X's font rendering much better than Windows's, but this is one aspect that drove me up the wall when I was redesigning my personal website. (I wrote a bit about the issues I had with this bug in this article: http://kronopath.net/blog/dawn-of-a-new-day/. Search for "The bug".)
I find that the biggest problem with the font as well. For a monospaced font, it doesn't look all that monospaced. Many of the glyphs have odd positioning. It gives the font a look of activity or "fun-ness" that doesn't match well with it's intending purpose as a coding font.
But oh man do I love how readable that is at 5x11 pixels. That's beautiful, good work.
By "thin", do you mean narrow and condensed, or do you mean the weight of the stems? For the former I wanted a decent amount of code to fit on a line -- I tend not to like the expanded look of some fonts and prefer something a bit more condensed. If you mean the weight, that's something of a design constraint due to trying to keep it crisp at low resolutions by grid-fitting to whole pixel boundaries.
¹ — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menlo_(typeface)
² — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_Mono
³ — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Everson
... but recently I've been addicted to Cousine.
In one word: Retina.
If you look at Consolas, for example, you'll see this is hardly unique.
User feedback: for me a font is more than something that is easily read. I value font's that, in some way, make it _fun_ to write. For example, the font with iA Writer is almost addicting in the way it tempts me to write more. Of course, however, you would want monospaced fonts for coding...
If you want to take a look see here :
NB: In Mac Terminal, the box drawing characters don't connect. This is far more common than not, the easiest-access font that does this correctly is Monaco. I mention because the home page lists the box drawing characters as a feature.
Best combination of readability and massive selection of Unicode glyphs of any fontface I've found.
N.B. I'm using Inconsolata right now, and have been for quite a few years.
However, many rasterizer round the widths to whole pixel sizes. Taking that into account, I do see them coming out to exactly half the width at certain sizes on this machine.
The IBM VGA font is a close second: http://i.imgur.com/XtzqR.png