adam's grump of the day: icons in fonts (was Re: web-assets-httpd stuck in limbo?)
awilliam at redhat.com
Thu Jan 16 17:58:20 UTC 2014
On Thu, 2014-01-16 at 18:37 +0100, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Le Jeu 16 janvier 2014 18:13, Adam Williamson a écrit :
> > On Thu, 2014-01-16 at 10:52 -0500, Matthias Clasen wrote:
> >> On Wed, 2014-01-15 at 22:31 -0800, Adam Williamson wrote:
> >> > On Wed, 2014-01-15 at 22:59 -0700, T.C. Hollingsworth wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > * Another individual thought that all web authors are stupid for
> >> > > wanting to use fancy fonts and that I am wasting my time. (He might
> >> > > be right about that last bit... :-P)
> >> >
> >> > While we're doing asides, that one *does* get right on my nerves.
> >> >
> >> > 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.
> >> It makes a lot of sense, actually. At least the symbolic icons that have
> >> become prevalent in our uis share a lot of characteristics with text,
> >> and can benefit from getting the same treatment as glyphs.
> > Then get the Unicode people sign off on treating your special special
> > characters as text, otherwise it's just an abuse of the system.
> And, actually, Microsoft did exactly that : its special UI symbols (in
> Segoe UI) have all standard codepoints @unicode.org, you can use the
> Microsoft font with other apps and you can make apps written around the
> Microsoft font work with FLOSS fonts that implement those codepoints.
Like I said I don't really mind much if it's done that way, but even
that approach has a problem: why would I expect rendering of what to me
are icons to change when I change my font? It's nowhere near as annoying
as the 'non-standard icons show as incomprehensible hieroglyphics'
incarnation of the problem, but it's still clearly a problem. People
understand that fonts render text, and when they change fonts, they
expect their text to look different - not their icons.
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