On 2008/01/28 18:37 (GMT+0100) Nicolas Mailhot apparently typed:
> The ubiquitous platform's fonts were Arial, then Verdana, then
> something else again in Vista.
I don't know if anything regarding defaults changed in Vista, but all the way
from Windows 95 through Windows XP, Internet Explorer through v7 has
defaulted to Arial for web page sans-serif text, and so have Netscape,
Mozilla, Firefox and SeaMonkey. In the UI up through W2K, the default was MS
Sans Serif (not a TTF). In XP the UI font was changed to Tahoma, but the web
page default remained Times New Roman, with fallback to Arial if the generic
sans-serif was called by the web page.
At least as far back as Windows 95, all Windows systems have been equipped by
default with both Arial and Verdana, but the only thing that makes Verdana
ubiquitous on web pages is author specification.
Regardless about legal ramifications and distro preferences about the best
fonts to use on the desktop, if it means anything at all to have web browsers
render pages designed by authors designing exclusively on Windows to look as
much as possible on Linux like they do on Windows, then Linux vendors should
make all reasonable efforts to provide fonts that are metric equivalents of
those found on Windows. In the absence of Windows web fonts actually being
installed on Linux systems, the priority fallbacks should be to whatever GPL
fonts most closely match Times New Roman for serif, Arial for sans-serif, and
Courier New for monospace. Because that's exactly what the Liberation fonts
were designed for, Liberation is what Firefox, SeaMonkey, Epiphany &
Konqueror should all default to until such time as the user specifies
Other fallbacks are another matter, DejaVu and Vera both are excellent
Verdana substitutes, but none of the three are suitable defaults as Arial
substitutes. Maybe fontconfig could provide DejaVu or Vera if Verdana is
called for but not installed, but certainly not when Arial is called for and
uninstalled, unless the browser settings are changed by the user to something
other than a vendor set default metric equivalent to Arial.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 NIV