Comment 29 for bug 41411

Forest (foresto) wrote :

Tobias Wolf wrote:
> Shouldn't you break the link between Arial and Helvetica instead?
> Those aren't metric compatible.

How far off is Arial from Helvetica? This wikipedia page says they have identical widths.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetica#Similar_typefaces

> And If someone requests a match
> for "Helvetica" it is likely that they expect a PostScript Type1 font.

What makes you think that? I run into web pages pretty regularly which request Helvetica followed by Arial, and since Ubuntu maps Helvetica to Nimbus Sans L, Arial is ignored and the page looks like hell. (It's even worse for me because I disabled antialiasing and enabled real hinting to make the MS fonts look crisp, which exposes the full ugliness of Nimbus.) Here's an example of such a web page:

http://code.google.com/appengine/
http://code.google.com/css/codesite.pack.01312008.css

I'll take Arial over Nimbus Sans L for screen rendering any day of the week, as (I suspect) would many other desktop users. Sadly, it took hours of reading, searching, trial and error to figure out how to make it happen. I doubt most users would have the patience; more likely they'd just live with the awful fonts and quietly blame Ubuntu for a job poorly done.

For the record, my temporary workaround was to put this in ~/.fonts.conf :

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
    <alias binding="same">
        <family>Helvetica</family>
        <prefer><family>Arial</family></prefer>
    </alias>
</fontconfig>