adam's grump of the day: icons in fonts (was Re: web-assets-httpd stuck in limbo?)

Bruno Wolff III bruno at
Thu Jan 16 13:55:58 UTC 2014

On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 22:31:56 -0800,
   Adam Williamson <awilliam at> wrote:
>If anyone overrides font choices in their browser config and wonders why
>an increasing number of sites - inc. github, and the wordpress admin
>interface - seem to display weird hieroglyphs all over the place, it's
>because of this "clever trick": web designers have decided that it's a
>really good idea to abuse font rendering engines as a way to render
>icons, and starting shipping icons as made-up Unicode codepoints in
>their sites' custom fonts. If you override their font choice, then of
>course these icons wind up as garbage, because your font does not have
>them, because ICONS AREN'T FUCKING TEXT CHARACTERS, web designers.

That's good to know as I have fonts locked by default. I hadn't noticed 
the above problem yet, and might have wondered what was going on if I 
had noticed it. I already have problems with sites that try to do pixel 
perfect stuff to over images and text enty boxes that doesn't work when 
the font sizes aren't the same. Also sort of related is people who use 
MS 1252 but claim the character set is iso-8859-1.

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