[1 mod] Style: Mono: letter small Latin iota (U+0269) different than Latin letter small i (U+069)

Bug #692778 reported by Denis Moyogo Jacquerye
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Font Family
Low
Unassigned
fonts-ubuntu (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

As seen in bug 677134 small latin letter i (U+0069) will have a loop/hook at its base to fit with other glyphs in Mono. This shape looks like a small Greek Iota.
This is problematic because the Latin Iota (U+0269, with uppercase U+0196) will be added once the Mono font is extended. However this character also looks like a small Greek Iota, as implied by its name.

A shape for Latin iota that is discernable from Latin letter i is necessary because languages using Latin iota also use Latin letter i.
Some of those languages also use accents on both of those letters, removing the dot on the i, making them even less discernable. The hook/loop on the iota is usually what makes it look different than the "straight" i.

Sample text in Abidji language (from Moïse Adjèbè Aka et al. 1984. Syllabaire Abidji) featuring both i and ɩ with accents:
Nʋ nɔɔ, ɛnɛɛ kanʋmba lɛɛ gbamplɔ lɛɛ bombri kpebri nehi ɩhɩ bulɛ. Amɩ kanʋmba nɩnɩ: "Amʋan-ɛnɛ, ɛmɩnɩɛ, ɔmʋ falo lɔkʋ ɛbɩɛ nɔmʋ ngbuta mʋ tɛɛ, ɛnɛɛ fûlu fɩlamɩ́nɩ." Ɛnɛɛ gbamplɔ nɩnɩ: "Ɛmɩnɩɛ, edimbɔ fîsisi fʋtʋmɩ́nɩ."
Ɛnɛɛ bombri kpebri nɩnɩ: "Ɛmɩnɩɛ, dambre mu, fû-tɔnɩ́ ɔmʋ fampo kpɛɛ fʋtʋmɩ́nɩ, an bɛ ningbe mɩ́di ɛpɛ." Ɛnɛɛ dɔn bɔɔ uku kanʋmba ɛ́nɩ nʋɛ, amɩ na nuluní ɔnʋ faloɛ nɩlanɩ́. Amɩ dɔn bɔɔ lɛbɛ aanʋ ite mu, amɩ na nisisiní edimbɔ nʋtʋnɩ́ gbamplɔ.
Gbakɛ oku bombri kpebri ɛ́ni nʋ ba! Amɩ kanʋmba a atingbre ɛtɩ tɛ te brɛfʋɛ mba. Amɩ dambreɛ mʋ nahan-nɩ́ obutɔ mʋ. Nahan-nɩ́ baa ɩlɩ, amɩ gba! bombri kpebri nʋ brɛfʋɛ mba. Amɩ nɩdanî- niní ebi. Lɩ fɩnɩ kanʋmba ɛ́lɩ́ lɔɔ ɛkɛɛ, bɛ ntʋ nɔtɔnɩ́ obu dambre mu.

Suggestions for a discernable shape and one that fits with the rest of the glyphs, for 'ɩ' Latin iota (U+0269) are welcome.

Paul Sladen (sladen)
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low
milestone: none → latin-e-a
summary: - Style: Mono: letter small Latin iota (U+0269) different than Latin
- letter small i (U+069)
+ [1 mod] Style: Mono: letter small Latin iota (U+0269) different than
+ Latin letter small i (U+069)
tags: added: uff-dm-review
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
milestone: latin-e-a → 0.92-beta-test
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: Triaged → In Progress
Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

I'm not looking at an "UbuntuMono 0.84"; which as regressed to a flat-slabbed 'i'.

Revision history for this message
Denis Moyogo Jacquerye (moyogo) wrote :

> I'm not looking at an "UbuntuMono 0.84"; which as regressed to a flat-
> slabbed 'i'.

Paul:
The flat-slabbed-i allows accented i or dotless-i to be distinguishable from accented or unaccented Latin iota.
If this is not acceptable then this bug should be "wontfix".
How do you suggest ı (dotless-i) and ɩ (Latin iota) be distinguished from ɩ (Latin iota)?

Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Denis: coming up with a design suggestion for a distinguishable dotless iota (without alterating the distinctive 'i') was the open purpose of the bug report! ;-)

Perhaps an treatment solution to try would be some combination of the following:

  * the Ubuntu Mono (curved) lower case glpyh 'i', minus the top serif.
  * and/or a slightly large bowl/uptick to the tail perhaps in combination (if still needed to fill out the width),
  * possibly a touch of curved oblique on the stem echoing the recent design solution for 'ν' (lowercase nu) vs. 'v' (lowercase vee); (see also 'τ' (lowercase tau))

Revision history for this message
Denis Moyogo Jacquerye (moyogo) wrote :

> Perhaps an treatment solution to try would be some combination of the
> following:
>
> * the Ubuntu Mono (curved) lower case glpyh 'i', minus the top serif.
> * and/or a slightly large bowl/uptick to the tail perhaps in combination
>(if still needed to fill out the width),
> * possibly a touch of curved oblique on the stem echoing the recent
>design solution for 'ν' (lowercase nu) vs. 'v' (lowercase vee); (see also
>'τ' (lowercase tau))

The main feature of the Latin iota is it’s hooked bottom.
As long as the i has a hook, it will be confusable.
Serif or no serif, a more salient hook t, a curved oblique stem don’t make it clear which is which if both have a hooked bottom.

If you need a relatable comparison:
Imagine somehow an i with a left hook below the baseline (as was sometimes done historically in some contexts, for the sake of the comparison assume this is an acceptable style nowadays). This would be totally fine if there is no need to distinguish it from j.
Now design a j that is distinguishable from that i using serif or no serif, a more salient hook or an oblique stem. These are all inappropriate solutions, it’s not clear which is which (at least not without a clear context) and the j will just seem odd (compared with the user’s expectation).
The solution is to change the i to the more common form that doesn’t overlap with the j.

Adolfo Jayme (fitojb)
Changed in fonts-ubuntu (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
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