Description of problem:
Lowercase "l" character very closely resembles the "1" character from many other typefaces, especially at smaller point sizes, and even more so in the italic style.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Type an italic "l" at 8 point size. Print alongside "1" also at 8 point size from some other monospaced fonts, such as DejaVu Sans Mono and notice the similarity.
I have found Liberation Mono to be the best Free typeface for my coding purposes. I particularly love how readable yet compact it is at small sizes. I've had difficultly though with the "l" character. I find that this character seems to me to be indistinguishable from the "1" character from many other typefaces. The problem is even more apparent when the font is used in the italic style. To my perception, an "l" formed more similar to that of the DejaVu Sans Mono, Source Code Pro, or Ubuntu Mono would fit better with the overall design approach of the typeface by being clearly readable at all sizes--it could no longer be confused with any other character. This would include a leftward serif at the top of the letter, and a rightward curvature at the bottom of the character. To my eye, DejaVu Sans Mono's "l" would be the best model.
Created attachment 796295 [details]
screenshot of comparison between dejavu mono and liberation mono l character
Thanks for appreciation for Liberation. After looking at the attached screenshot i am agree with you for confusion at lower size between 1 and l.
Looks like Dejavu has taken extra care while designing l shape. I will try for that in next version.
(In reply to Pravin Satpute from comment #1)
> Created attachment 796295 [details]
> screenshot of comparison between dejavu mono and liberation mono l character
> Thanks for appreciation for Liberation. After looking at the attached
> screenshot i am agree with you for confusion at lower size between 1 and l.
> Looks like Dejavu has taken extra care while designing l shape. I will try
> for that in next version.
Thank you so much! I look forward to seeing it.
Is there a schedule for the next release?
I will do this it by this month end.
We can definitely fix this but i am more concerned regarding if we update shape we will lose the bytecode hinting instruction for this shape.
Though i can instruct fontforge for autohinting this but still it does not give 100% accurate behaviour.
So may be we can try this out but if some bugs came up, we can simply restore original shape or try to fix hinting instructions.
Created attachment 831954 [details]
working image of "l" shape
Does this looks good? Minimal approach to resolve confusion :)
It certainly is less confusing and I would consider it an improvement, though a rounded curvature at the bottom would be still better in my mind. Rounding the bottom would make it more recognizable as a lowercase "l". Your working image could possibly be confused as a capital "L".
I've attached an image of how things currently look in DejaVu Sans Mono, Source Code Pro, Ubuntu Mono, and Liberation Mono. An "l" shaped like one of the first three would be ideal to my perception, though admittedly I don't fully understand all of the technical implications of adopting such a design.
Created attachment 832085 [details]
Comparison of "l" in text
Yes agree, round shape at bottom required to avoid confusion with capital "L"
Is a fix for this still being considered for inclusion in the next release, and is there any timeframe in mind for this?
Problem here is, if we modify this shape we will lost the hinting instruction for this shape.
Definitely same time we can do auto hinting but it will not give as sharp outline as given by present hinting instruction.
Will do one thing, i will modify and provide test file, please test those and update me on same.
will do it this week.
I would be love to see an updated file when it's available and would be happy to give feedback.
Can I download update somewhere? Bug with 1 VS l is blocking for me.
Nice username :)
Just give me one week. i am working on fixing #1072095, hoping to fix this bug as well with it.
Is there a status update on this?
Not yet..looking forward to complete it this month.
No updates? Any problems?
I am working on liberation fonts from last 2 weeks, soon will touch this issue.
In between Liberation fonts version 2 also available on github now https://github.com/pravins/liberation-fonts
first of all apologies for taking so much time for this.
I have updated 'l' shape in mono all relevant files are available @
Please test .ttf and update me whether any issue or more required.
I love the new shape! Thank you so much.
It does seem to render oddly at the 12 point size on my system. I'm attaching a screenshot of how it's rendering at 11, 12, and 13 sizes. the leftward serif at the top seems unproportionally wide at 12, though the other sizes seem fine.
I took the screenshot in MS Word, but I've confirmed that it does the same in other applications on my system as well. Is that a problem on my system, or something in the font file?
Created attachment 895130 [details]
Showing new character at 11, 12, and 13
Notice the width of the leftward serif at the top of the character at 12. It does not appear proportional to the 11 and 13 sizes. This screenshot was taken in MS Word 2013 on Windows 7.
Created attachment 895135 [details]
Showing new character at various sizes
This screenshot was taken on the same Windows 7 system in LibreOffice Writer 220.127.116.11. It shows the 'l' character at all the common sizes, and highlights the inconsistencies in the leftward serif at the top of the character.
12, 14 and 15 seem unusually wide, while 13, 16 and 18 seem significantly more narrow. As I noted if my earlier comment though, the 12 size seems the most problematic to my perception.
I was waiting to fix this issue before next upstream release. Just update to shape will not work, we need to add correct hinting instructions as well to fix this.
I will do next release with other fix and keep this pending for next one.
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