[1 mod] Default password field character ••• is small

Bug #615375 reported by Ricardo Pérez López on 2010-08-09
58
This bug affects 11 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Font Family
Medium
Unassigned
ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu)
Low
Unassigned

Bug Description

A. At a graphical Ubuntu terminal, enter "gksudo whatever" or "pkexec gedit" (without quotes). Or if you aren't on Ubuntu:
B. In a Web browser's address field, enter
data:text/html,<input type=password style="font-family:Ubuntu" value="12345">

The bullet chars displayed when you're typing a password on every dialog which asks you for a password (i.e. GDM or gksudo) is too small, definitely smaller than the DejaVu one. IMHO this is an usability issue, because it's hard to see how many characters I typed.

As I said before, this isn't a problem when using DejaVu or Bitstream Vera fonts.

Ricardo Pérez López (ricardo) wrote :
Ricardo Pérez López (ricardo) wrote :
Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2010-08-10
visibility: private → public
Changed in ubuntufontbetatesting:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

I haven't yet tracked down which codepoint (glyph) this is; GtkEntry::PROP_INVISIBLE_CHAR claims that it is initialised to '*' (asterisk) but that's clearly not the case. It is presumably one of:

  · (U+00B7 MIDDLE DOT)
  • (U+2022 BULLET)
  ∙ (U+2219 BULLET OPERATOR)

but is probably being overridden somewhere in the gksu/libgksu source code.

Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2010-08-20
tags: added: uff-style
Simos Xenitellis  (simosx) wrote :

The 'bullet character' in password fields is themable:
  "The bullet character used in invisible entries can be set by themes with the ::invisible-char style property"
(Source: http://blogs.gnome.org/gtk/ )

Did not check the theme; could the character be ● (U+25CF)? If so, it's in the Geometric shapes Unicode block (not included in Ubuntu Font).

We can certainly have a bullet that's appropriately weighted for the
Ubuntu faces.

Simos: if it's not in the Ubuntu Font Family it'll get substituted, which is fine. This really needs looking into better.

Dimitrios Ntoulas (ntoulasd) wrote :

Yes, is too small It shows uneven with other characters.

Anders Bodén (powanders) wrote :

I can confirm that it was indeed character (U+25CF "black circle") that was missing. I have edited the font to include a bullet for that character (U+25CF) and also (U+26AB "medium black circle"), of a size of my preference. It is slightly smaller than the bullet in Deja Vu I think. It should be somewhere between a lowercase character and uppercase character in the Ubuntu font in width.

To apply my changes, simply replace your Ubuntu font files with the ones I attach. The ubuntu font lies in directory /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ubuntu-font-family/. Alternatively try these changes first by extracting the files to ~/.fonts.

Just a precautionary note:
Any one wanting to use the fonts modified by Anders above should be aware that these fonts have not been checked or verified by DaltonMaag and contain errors that may cause reflowing of text, or cause other problems and instabilities in some OS/application configurations.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Anders: please can you post the source files from whichever font editor you used (eg. the .sfd from editing in FontForge or equivalent from FontLab/etc).

If you would like these changes to be included in the Ubuntu Font Family itself, please could return a copy of the copyright assignment as detailed on:

  https://launchpad.net/~uff-contributors

(Legal stuff: could I note that this derivative version is not being distributed in accordance with the terms of the Licence under which it was received. The font could only be distributed when accompanied by a copy of its licence text, with the additional, requirement that modified versions _must_ append the text "Ubuntu derivative XYZ"):

  http://font.ubuntu.com/ufl/ubuntu-font-licence-1.0.txt

It would be useful if you could include some reasoning as to how you picked the bullet sizes and spacing in question (some rationale) to help in applying these changes to the Ubuntu Font Family.

Anders Bodén (powanders) wrote :

I sent an email accepting the contributor assignment. Was that all that was needed in that department?

I've attached the source files from Fontforge. I've also included the license file you mentioned, but I'm not sure I got that right.

My rationale:
I wanted to make the size of the bullet so as to fit in with the rest of the font. It now has a size slightly larger than the character 'o' from the font. It is between a uppercase letter and a lowercase letter of the font in spacing. I think this makes for a homogenous feel for the bullet, as it is to replace the weight of all and none of the characters in the font, when typing in a password. The margin for the width of the bullet and the total spacing of the character is such that when written back to back the bullets are clearly not toucing, are easily distinguishable, while not creating spaces that would not conform with the font.

Let me know if there is anything else I need to do to get this submission in proper order.

Typographically there have been two types of 'bullets' in founts in
letterpress, photographic and digital typography prior to 1984. Below
is what I wrote a few years ago about the 'bullet'.

(note: the en space is 1/2 the em space (or 1/2 a point size), the em
space is equal to the units per em and point size).

Most type designers and font foundries use the en bullet (or slightly
smaller) since the em bullet is usually too large.

Bullets

     * Bullet
       Unicode: U+2022

       Bullets supplied by traditional vendors varied in size but the
two most common are the en bullet and the em bullet.

     * En bullet

       This is the more commonly included bullet in most typefaces.

       Advance width rule : Its advance width is generally set to the en
space and is a smaller sized bullet than the em bullet.

       Height alignment : Visually centers on the lowercase uppercase
height.

     * Em bullet

       This is the large bullet sometimes chosen to be included in place
of the en bullet in some typefaces.

       Advance width rule : Its advance width is generally set to the em
space value.

       Height alignment : Visually centers on the lowercase uppercase
height.

       Spacing : Visually center between uppercase H and O.

On 20/10/2010 14:20, Anders Bodén wrote:
> I sent an email accepting the contributor assignment. Was that all that
> was needed in that department?
>
> I've attached the source files from Fontforge. I've also included the
> license file you mentioned, but I'm not sure I got that right.
>
> My rationale:
> I wanted to make the size of the bullet so as to fit in with the rest of the font. It now has a size slightly larger than the character 'o' from the font. It is between a uppercase letter and a lowercase letter of the font in spacing. I think this makes for a homogenous feel for the bullet, as it is to replace the weight of all and none of the characters in the font, when typing in a password. The margin for the width of the bullet and the total spacing of the character is such that when written back to back the bullets are clearly not toucing, are easily distinguishable, while not creating spaces that would not conform with the font.
>
> Let me know if there is anything else I need to do to get this
> submission in proper order.
>
> ** Attachment added: "Source files for changes made to Ubuntu font"
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-font-family/+bug/615375/+attachment/1703101/+files/UbuntuFontwBulletSources.tar.gz
>

--
Vincent Connare, Font Engineering, Dalton Maag Ltd
Unit 107, 245A Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8RR, UK

Registered office: Mutfords, Hare Street, Buntingford, SG9 0ED, UK
Registered in England and Wales: 3103619

description: updated
description: updated
summary: - The bullet char is small
+ Default password field character ••• is small
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) on 2014-11-18
Changed in ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low

Password fields often used to use asterisk * characters. This became less appropriate over time, for two reasons. First, more complex password requirements meant that people sometimes use real asterisks in their passwords, so displaying the first character typed as an asterisk could be confusing or alarming. And second, more and more user interfaces used fonts that were designed for (or at least variations of fonts designed for) other media, where asterisks were expected to be small footnote markers rather than large multiplication/programming symbols. Asterisks became too hard to see.

Here we have the second problem recurring. The Ubuntu font has a bullet character that is designed for bulleted lists, which makes it uncomfortably small for telling whether you have typed the expected number of characters in your password. This is a non-trivial problem for something like a SIM PIN or a PUK code, where if you enter the wrong code too many times your phone becomes semi-useless.

I think the ideal solution would be to patch the relevant toolkits/themes so that password fields use U+26AB "medium black circle" ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ rather than the bullet ••••••••. If that is not practical, a second choice would be to change the Ubuntu font to use the em bullet Vincent mentions rather than the en bullet.

summary: - Default password field character ••• is small
+ [1 mod] Default password field character ••• is small
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: Triaged → Confirmed
tags: added: xenial
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