[blfs-support] CJK fonts - what are people using ?

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Sun May 29 20:32:43 PDT 2016

People who have been here for a long time will know that I prefer to
use TTF/OTF fonts in Xorg, and that I dislike boxes with dots where
I cannot render a glyph ("cannot display a codepoint" if you
prefer).  The requirement for Noto fonts ('no tofu', i.e. they aim
to display everything, although they have gaps, e.g. in runes - as
if I care) in kde5 has caused me to take another look at fonts.

And no, I do not think that being able to display Cuneiform, Egyptian
Hieroglyphs, Lycian, Lydian, etc. is useful - I only care about
glyphs I might encounter when I'm surfing, but the Noto Sans CJK
fonts in the (large) Noto-hinted zip file are attractive to me.

I think I'm getting close to being ready to update my font-analysis
website to make it more useful (comparisons of how different fonts
look, as well as better notes on what they cover), but while working
through the data I came upon yet another font which made me think
"why would anybody use this ?".  That particular font was Korean, my
objection was to the forms of some of the latin letters.  But then I
realised that what I need to ask is:

"Which fonts do you guys use for CJK languages ?"

I know that we have had Chinese posters in recent times, at least on
the dev lists, and also that users of Traditional Chinese really
dislike some of the fonts targetted at users of Simplified Chinese,
and similarly users of Chinese or Japanese really dislike it when a
font for the other of those languages gets used.  But before I make
a fool of myself by documenting fonts which nobody will ever use
(and perhaps ignoring a font which has current users) I think I
ought to ask ;-)

Also, for people who read Chinese and Japanese - do you get upset if
punctuation (in particular, CJK commas and full-stops) is positioned
low in traditional chinese and in japanese, or positioned centrally
in simplified chinese ?

At the moment, I am aware of the following CJK font families which
all seem to be usable :

Simplified Chinese
 Fandol (part of texlive)
 Noto Sans
 DroidSansFallback (sans)
 WenQuanYi Zen Hei (sans - some people say this is derived from

Traditional Chinese
 Noto Sans

 IPAex (current version, supersedes IPA)
 Noto Sans
 VL (gothic, i.e. sans, only)

 alee - one of these was the font which made me raise the question
 Noto Sans

TIA for any comments.

I had to walk fifteen miles to school, barefoot in the snow.  Uphill both ways.

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