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Date:      Sun, 7 Jan 2018 21:07:22 +0000
From:      Ken Moffat <>
Subject:   Re: Poor default fonts in Firefox
Message-ID:  <20180107210722.GA27609@milliways.localdomain>

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I thought this was a private mail, but Christian's other replies
copied the list, and I don't think there is anything private in his
part, so I'm now forwarding my reply to the list.

----- Forwarded message from Ken Moffat <> -----

Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2018 19:54:51 +0000
From: Ken Moffat <>
To: Christian Weisgerber <>
Subject: Re: Poor default fonts in Firefox
User-Agent: Mutt/1.9.2 (2017-12-15)

On Sun, Jan 07, 2018 at 05:30:06PM +0100, Christian Weisgerber wrote:
> Ken Moffat:
> > >
> > 
> > If you download the current page you will see that it includes
> >
> > which uses some BBCReith fonts (Sans and Serif) and these are woff2
> > fonts, so for everything using those fonts you will get the official
> > fonts if you allow the page to use them (ISTR somebody mentioned
> > overriding that).
> > 
> > If you don't let firefox use them, then I assume you will get whatever
> > you have set as the fonts in firefox's preferences.  If those are
> > merely Sans and Serif then fc-match will tell you what it is using.
> FWIW, Firefox happily tells you what font it uses: select a piece
> of text, right-click, select "Inspect Element", in the bottom right
> select "Fonts".
Thanks, I didn't know that.

> For the BBC web site headlines and article text that comes out as
>   Helvetica  system
>   Used as: "Helvetica"
> here.  (The Firefox font configuration is the Firefox default.)

Yes, the woff information in the stylesheet turned out to be a red
herring for the BBC.

On my current machine I prefer TexGyreHeros and clicking on some text
at the BBC News page showed it was using the Bold variant (it isn't,
the link/headline above that was in bold, and even selecting only the
article text I had had an option to open in a new tab!).

Going to a different BBC news article and again selecting only some
text from the middle of the article, that is apparently in GEL Icons
Full Regular - labelled as remote with a link and (woff) after it.
Clearly that applies to something else on the page, perhaps the
*book and tw?tter icons.

Looking at which I
happened to have open, the example output in the blue or grey boxes
is clearly monospace, but the normal text on a white background is
clearly variable width.  But when I select some of that normal text
it tells me it is I get various reports of Liberation Sans, ...
bold, ... mono depending on which short piece of text I inspect.
Certainly it is Liberation Sans, because that is how I set my
preferences on this machine.

This is in ff58.0beta14, and I would be inclined to treat what the
inspector tells me with the proverbial grain of salt.

Truth, in front of her huge walk-in wardrobe, selected black leather
boots with stiletto heels for such a barefaced truth.
                                     - Unseen Academicals

----- End forwarded message -----

Truth, in front of her huge walk-in wardrobe, selected black leather
boots with stiletto heels for such a barefaced truth.
                                     - Unseen Academicals

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