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Re: Tick Reduction

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: Re: Tick Reduction
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2021 14:41:18 +0100

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> Could it be that you are using a suboptimal font?  In my experience,
>> finding a really good one makes a big difference.
> If finding such good fonts is a significant effort, we could have
> users complain about ugly display because they didn't invest that
> effort.  This stuff should work OOTB as much as possible, or else we
> should make it opt-in.

That's a solid point, and definitely something worth thinking about.

The effort involved is a) picking a suitable candidate, b) installing it
if it's not already, and c) customizing Emacs to use it.

Step a) can take however much time you want to, I suppose.  Some people
enjoy searching for fonts more than others.

In my experience from Debian, step b) can be slightly tedious given that
distributions might package fonts in various bundles such that the font
name you find online doesn't necessarily correspond 1:1 with the name of
the package.  YMMV.

Step c) is a bit fiddly, but not too bad (you need to type the name of
the font manually, as opposed to just selecting it from a list, so you
better get the spelling right).

If we want to simplify this, these are the first ideas that come to

- We could provide a curated list of variable-width fonts to
  prefer, where available.  Perhaps depending on system.

- We could somehow encourage distributions to add this or that font as
  an optional dependency ("recommends", as Debian/apt would call it),
  and then use it if available.

- If we want to recommend one or more particular `variable-pitch' font,
  it would make sense to recommend also one or more `fixed-pitch' fonts
  that would go well with it.  Fonts generally harmonize better or worse
  with each other, also on a technical level (a font with thick glyphs
  might look rather bad next to one with very thin glyphs, for example).

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