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Skin Minerva Neue: do not manually assign fonts
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Description

Currently, skin Minerva Neue (default skin for mobile) assigns

-apple-system, 'BlinkMacSystemFont', 'Segoe UI', 'Roboto', 'Lato', 'Helvetica', 'Arial', sans-serif;

as fonts for paragraphs. (Source code.)

This is suboptimal because it does not allow user to display the content in their preferred sans-serif fonts in settings.

In contrast, the desktop version of most Wikimedia sites (using skin Vector) only has "sans-serif" configured, so it will use whatever sans-serif font users choose in their browser or system settings.

One particular example I want to mention is reading mobile Wikipedia on Windows. Because of how the rule is set, it will use "Segoe UI" (instead of something like Arial, as most of browsers default to), which is not very optimal for article reading.

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptOct 5 2019, 3:26 AM
fireattack updated the task description. (Show Details)Oct 5 2019, 3:27 AM
fireattack updated the task description. (Show Details)
fireattack updated the task description. (Show Details)Oct 7 2019, 6:04 PM
fireattack updated the task description. (Show Details)Oct 7 2019, 8:38 PM

It seems to be changed in T175877.

While I fully agree that we should "gives preference to system typeface", I'm not sure what's the reasoning to not just use sans-serif.

Shouldn't it be enough to fall to whatever the system default font would be? Why do we need to specify fonts like "Segoe UI" or Roboto? it will actually cause to not use system typeface under certain circumstances, for example, if someone installed 'Segoe UI' on Android. And as mentioned before, while "Segoe UI" is the default UI font for Windows, it is not meant to be used in text paragraphs other than UI elements - after all it is suffixed with "UI" for a reason.

@fireattack You've already pointed out the originating task T175877. sans-serif provides suboptimal reading experience, specifically on mobile platforms. The task gives all the details. Segoe UI was not developed solely for user-interface chrome, but also for reading materials.
You are still able to set your default font in your profile's common.css to your personal preference.

fireattack added a comment.EditedOct 7 2019, 9:03 PM

Edit: revised

sans-serif provides suboptimal reading experience

I didn't see any mention about this in T175877, could you elaborate?

Keep in mind what we had before was not just sans-serif. Most of the references listed there also talk about moving from something like Helvetica, Arial, Sans-serif to what similar to we have today, but none of them seem to talk about why mere sans-serif would not be enough.

It looks to me (on Android) if you assign sans-serif, it would just fall back to Roboto. I would guess it would be similar on iOS or MacOS.

After all, simply using sans-serif is the choice of Wikipedia (desktop site) for at least 10 years, so I'd imagine it wouldn't be terribly wrong.

Segoe UI was not developed solely for user-interface chrome, but also for reading materials.

Thanks for the information.