Monday, March 16, 2009


The guy who developed Inconsolata namechecked TheSans
I was particularly struck by the beauty of Luc(as) de Groot's Consolas, which is his monospaced design for Microsoft's upcoming Vista release. This font, similar to his earlier TheSansMono, demonstrated clearly to me that monospaced fonts do not have to suck.

And that piqued my curiosity. After a few days of hunting, I found a source that could get me the font for less than the list price of $Ridiculous

Even though it was explicitly designed for programming, it's a little funny looking. And the zeros aren't dotted or crossed.

in VIM

in Gnome Terminal

anti-aliasing nightmare on debian

Debian mysteriously turned on font-anti-aliasing when I upgraded my laptop a few days ago. I guess that's fine, but suddenly my terminal got completely unreadable.


I thought about turning it antialiasing off -- and I still may -- but it occurred to me that I could probably do better.
I asked around, and I found a few shootouts, including Jeff Atwood's, but none for my exact setup.
The problem is, Linux/X11's font renderer isn't really ClearType. Also, different applications seem to render the same font different ways: VIM and Gnome Terminal sometimes show the same character in the same font in a dramatically different way.

Now I've got a handful of beautiful monospace fonts, but I can't seem to decide which to use. I'll post some examples here, as I get time to make screenshots.

So far, I've got:
  • Andale Mono
  • Consolas
  • Consolas
  • DejaVu Sans
  • Inconsolata
  • TheSans Mono
  • Bitstream Vera

I don't have Monoco or Pragmata, but maybe I'll find them later.