More problems with the Shell's 'ultimate font' solutions

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/06/12 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

Yesterday when I posted Why the Windows Shell can't provide the ultimate font solution for everyone (or even anyone!), I pointed out how the specific mission that the Shell has had in font solutions would, in most cases not be an adequate solution for anyone outside of the Windows Shell.

And then I pointed out that since updates of the fonts in components that ship in Windows are so in consistent that as a solution it does not work out all that well for folks in the Shell, either.

But I forgot mention one place where they do a good job -- it is related to a point I first raised in One more thing about some of those CJK fonts, and it is that people who consider the Latin characters in the CJK fonts to be ugly should have the grace to recognize that they are being provincial louts -- because it is very reasonable for users to feel that mixing the Latin letters of one font with the ideographs of another may seem ugly.

This is relevant to the Shell font solutions because those special, logical fonts will actually quite literally be a different font in (for example) the Japanese MS UI Gothic so that you will not get the Latin letters from some other font when you have a Japanese UI language.

One other thing I forgot to mention....

Unfortunately, while the Shell solution is really effectively geared toward UI language choices, the behavior of the Shell logical fonts is determined by (depending on which you use) on or the other or both of the default system locale and the UI language of the local system account (the latter is the one I discussed here), two settings that have machine-wide impact and which require administrative privileges to change, despite the fact that the setting which most needs the information to be appropriate for a good user experience is the user's UI language choice, which does not require administrative privileges.

The final problem that the Shell solution has is one that other solutions have as well -- the fact that the appropriate size varies with some of the scripts. This is a point I will be talking about in an upcoming post.

Though by this point I have hopefully convinced you that the solutions here that are provided via logical fonts are not viable solutions for your font choosing needs. I'll be getting to in an upcoming post, as well....


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referenced by

2006/06/16 Neither GDI nor Uniscribe solve the ultimate font problem completely, either

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