Page MenuHomePhabricator

Webfonts doesn't render in IE8 and produces junk characters
Closed, ResolvedPublic


Webfonts IE8 - Breaks for Tamil

Webfonts renders junk on IE8. Tested for Tamil / Marathi , so this is not a font issue. This doesnt break completely and part of interface text in language is visible properly. If we reset to system font and switch back to webfont, this does not happen.

Another strange this I found was when the junk is displayed, moving mouse to certain points on the location (hovering over live search textbox for ex) makes the font render, but moving the mouse brings back to junk. IE is special :D

Version: unspecified
Severity: normal
OS: Windows XP


Lohit-Tamil-IE8.PNG (900×1 px, 156 KB)


ReferenceSource BranchDest BranchAuthorTitle
repos/data-engineering/metrics-platform!8timemainarlolraUpdate Timestamp to v4.1.1
Customize query in GitLab

Event Timeline

Webfonts IE8 - breaks for Hindi


Lohit-Devanagari-IE8.PNG (900×1 px, 164 KB)

I am trying to reproduce this. I could not reproduce this in IE8+ Windows 7 box. Amir had told me this issue when he tried in his Windows XP+ IE 8 browser. From your screenshot, I assume that you also have the same combination. I will try to reproduce and update you.

Srikanth, can you tell me the exact version of windows xp? Service pack 2 or 3?
I tried to get screenshot from Windows XP SP3+ Windows 8 and results are here:
Sreenshots does not have junk characters.

Santhosh, I am also on Windows XP SP3 + IE8.

I am trying now at my home network and not able to reproduce. Strange. Is it something to have with connection speed / broken download of webfonts or something like that ? I am just taking wild guess.

perhaps partial download of the font file ?

Changed the importance to normal since it is not reproducible always and happens in a particular os-browser combination. Since the issue disappears when page is reloaded, I assume that it is because of partially downloaded font as Derk-Jan Hartman noted.

I documented this as known issue in

(In reply to comment #5)

perhaps partial download of the font file ?

Dont think its a partial download issue. Otherwise it cant render perfectly when I hover mouse over certain places, but break again when i move my mouse. Also note that only part of the page is not rendered, some text are rendered. I think we must say IE is special and move on. Probably file an IE bug?

Some of the things we were able to find out after deployment. Still no scenario that is guaranteed to show the problem, but more often yes than no:

Steps to reproduce (using Windows Xp and Internet Explorer 8):

  1. go to
  2. clear all caches and other things that can be cleared in IE8
  3. goto - let the page load
  4. add "?action=purge" to the URL, press <enter>
  5. Observe the loaded page: displays gibberish.

Additional information: can also be reproduced on and (also: bn, my, ...). Cannot reproduce for "he".

Waiting for first reports in the wild, but this is a case that might cause us to disable WebFonts for IE8, if possible only in Windows XP, because we have not been able to reproduce this in later versions of Windows with IE8. We're all sleeping now and are going to continue in 5h10m.

Based on these observations we think it is a bad idea to keep supporting WebFonts in Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP and we have disabled it in r106172. This will be deployed soon when we have also addressed a few other open issues.

It's not really FIXED, because a lot of people who use Internet Explorer 8 cannot use web fonts. It may be a rough estimation, but according to [1] that's about 15% of our readers. In India the percentage may be even higher. If they use Windows XP, they cannot update to MSIE9 either.

I'll try reporting it upstream to Microsoft.


So how can we get this issue made known upstream?

I couldn't find an official channel for IE8 bug reports, but i emailed some people in Microsoft who may be able to help.

Changing priority to low, because this is upstream and we can unfortunately not influence Microsoft's development planning.

Nobody is able to reproduce this bug anymore. I completely removed the blacklisting of IE8 in r113011. This will probably be deployed on Monday March 12.

If anybody still thinks that IE8 should be blacklisted, please speak up before that time.

I am closing thiis as per comment 14, "Fixed" status is because, the issue disappeared after the EOT fonts used by IE8 converted to much compressed format using Microtype Express compression format(using Google sfntly library)