Sometimes everyone is happier when the game is Fixed (aka Consoling Consolas lovers)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/29 09:31 -04:00, original URI:

Oscar asked over in the Suggestion Box:

Hi Michael,

I was just curious if any progress had been made on adding line drawing glyphs to Consolas.  You'd mentioned it on October 19, 2006:

<<Per Greg Hitchcock on the ClearType team back in February of this year: "...we’re in the process right now of arranging the work for adding the missing glyphs to support Consolas in the console window.">>



Yes, Oscar is right that Greg (as I mentioned in a comment to Sad? You can sit at your console and console yourself by putting Consolas in your console) and other folks on the typography side have expressed interest in fonts in general in the console and certainly Consolas.

But this is the kind of change that requires not just support within the font but verification of behavior in the console by test, etc.

It is not the sort of change that one would expect in a service pack, so I expect that it would not be seen until the next major version of a product that ships the font.

Now which product that might be is a topic one could speculate about, obviously --- but I'm going to refrain from that and just wait until I know for sure before I do anything....

For now, we must console ourselves that registry info is the ticket to not having to wait, which for now can be used by the people who want to use Consolas in the console.

Though if it were up to me, a "Comic Fixed" or "Comic Serif Fixed" like the one I joked about here would be a real priority instead of a small personal fantasy of mine. :-)


This post brought to you by (U+221e, a.k.a. INFINITY)

# Karellen on 29 Oct 2007 11:58 AM:

"this is the kind of change that requires not just support within the font but verification of behavior in the console by test, etc."

What do you mean by "the" console? As if there were only one? OK, only one "command prompt" console-type program is supplied by MS with their OSs, but plenty of 3rd party apps, and even other MS apps (such as Visual Studio) can and do use monospace fonts, and the "command prompt" can use other fonts than Consolas.

I suppose I'm asking here - why is so much of the stuff MS come out with so #%*! coarse-grained? Why can't the font team[0] improve and release updates to fonts at their own pace, on their own schedule? Sure, the next release of Windows, Office, Visual Studio, etc... will probably include the latest version of the font set, and I can see situations where a release might even be dependent on a particular feature or bugfix for a font. (We need the glyph for U+1234 fixed as per bug #56789 for the next office service pack! Hurry up and get core-fonts-1.18 out the door!)

[0] Assuming there is a "font team"

# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Oct 2007 12:19 PM:

There is a font team -- I have written about them at length in the past, as they are not sitting on their hands waiting for work to do (and this idea above definitely falls under the category of feature work which is much more suitable for a new product version).

# Karellen on 29 Oct 2007 2:35 PM:

What's a "new product version"? A new version of Windows, Office or VS? If so, *why* are the releases so coarse-grained? Why can't the font team release all this work they've been doing every few months, providing core-fonts-1.1.msi as a WGA-protected download from the MS website? And then core-fonts-1.2.msi in another few months?

Major versions (not just SPs) of Windows/Office/Visual Studio are *huge* releases with *years* between them. Why can't/won't MS make some of the pieces more fine-grained?

Sure, when the next major Windows/Office/VS release is done, include the current font package, whatever that happens to be.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Oct 2007 4:13 PM:


Any time one has a question that starts with "Why can't they..." the answer is always time, money, or both. and while the notion of such a cowboy approach to typography might have some visceral appeal, the truth is that the actual business needs -- from shaping engines to compatibility to support of rendering to cross-version behavior to the value-add for the actual products demands a more disciplined approach.

When there is a a genuine business need, such out-of-band updates happen (e.g. the Romanian updates), but there is no such need here....

referenced by

2010/12/25 "Comic Sans Fixed", that rather sansless dream-o-mine

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