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Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing

by Dr. Mu (Hermit)
on Feb 16, 2005 at 06:00 UTC ( #431451=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I'd been having fits lately (since upgrading to an XP machine) with Perl syntax errors involving braces versus parens. Problem was, there was about a one-pixel difference between them, and I had to take my glasses off and get real close just to see what I had typed. It was a real drag on productivity. 'Turns out, I had been defaulted to Courier New under XP, where I had used Courier before on the Win98 box. Switching back to Courier made all the difference in the world. But now colons and semicolons look too much alike! So, Monks, what are your font preferences for editing scripts? There must be something better than the Courier family!
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Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by crashtest (Curate) on Feb 16, 2005 at 06:45 UTC
    It's funny you should post this. Just recently (as in this weekend) I stumbled across demerphq's homenode, which includes a link to an informative site listing fonts for programmers.

    It's something I'd never really thought about before. I had been using Courier all along, and it never crossed my mind that there might be better suited fonts out there. About my only requirement for a font was that it be fixed-width!

    So since Monday, I've been trying out a new set of fonts called Proggy. If I had to pick today though, I would go back to Courier, but I will wait to see if this font grows on me. I do like that it puts a slash through zeros, clearly distinguishing them from the letter O. That's about the only complaint I have with Courier.
      Hmm, ProggyClean looks pretty nice in my editor! The only improvement I could think to make would be to make the dots in punctuations a four-pixel block instead of the two vertical pixels they use. ++!
        Try ProggyClean with Slashed 0 (zero) and Bold Punctuation. I think I may have just found a replacement for Lucida Console.


Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by merlyn (Sage) on Feb 16, 2005 at 13:42 UTC
    I use Bitstream Vera Sans Mono. Once I discovered the Vera family, I switched my browsers and my GNU Emacs to it. Couldn't be happier.

    Oddly enough, the only things on my system that aren't switched are the X11 windows, because I don't understand how to install it there. {grin} Mac OSX makes it easy to drop TTF into ~/Library/Fonts, and then select that for all carbon apps instantly. I have no clue how to do that for X11, not being a big X11 user.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      Aye, pitching in another vote for Vera Sans Mono. Vera Serif is a nice serif font, and Vera Sans is a very nice sans-serif font, but Vera Sans Mono is just drop dead gorgeous.

      I generally use 9pt in my 14001050 resolution.

      Windows people probably want to fetch the Vera zip file from

      merlyn: installing it for X11 isn't too hard, just a little tedious. Look for the font deuglification howto.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by dws (Chancellor) on Feb 16, 2005 at 07:00 UTC

    Switching back to Courier made all the difference in the world.

    I wasn't sure, so I looked. 10 point Courier New. Then I checked my putty configuration, and found 9 point Courier New. I don't find parens and braces hard to distinguish at those sizes. Must be a personal taste thing. I tried Lucida Console for a while, but switched back.

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by PodMaster (Abbot) on Feb 16, 2005 at 09:55 UTC
    Lucida Console,size:9

    MJD says "you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!"
    I run a Win32 PPM repository for perl 5.6.x and 5.8.x -- I take requests (README).
    ** The third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by Animator (Hermit) on Feb 16, 2005 at 13:25 UTC

    If you use good syntax highlighting then the fonts becomes less important... For example, if the colon is displayed in green, and the semicolon in blue then you will easily see the difference...

    (Unless ofcourse when you have the bad luck to be colourblind)

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by Jenda (Abbot) on Feb 16, 2005 at 13:26 UTC

    Verdana, 10
    This is what the default font was in SciTE and I never felt the need to change it. It's not fixed width, but I don't really care most of the time.

    We'd like to help you learn to help yourself
    Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes
    Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home
       -- P. Simon in Mrs. Robinson

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by neilwatson (Priest) on Feb 16, 2005 at 14:30 UTC
    My Xterm's defualts are:
    xterm*faceName: Bitstream Vera Sans Mono:style=Bold xterm*faceSize: 10
    For .gvimrc:
    set guifont=luxi\ mono\ 10

    Neil Watson

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by Anonymous Monk on Feb 16, 2005 at 11:02 UTC
    I started using 6x13 (yes, that's the name of the font) not long after my glass terminal was replaced by an X-terminal. This was in 1989 or 1990. I don't want it to be any other way.
Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by nimdokk (Vicar) on Feb 16, 2005 at 20:49 UTC
    Hmm, hadn't really thought about this before. I just started looking at the fonts in MS Notepad (where I do Perl stuff on Windows) and set it to 'Terminal' at 12pts. Looks nice, got the slash through 0 the way it should be :-) Don't have as many options on *nix tho, using some default system font through X. Wish I could set a NT command window to use the 'Terminal' font tho.
Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by naChoZ (Curate) on Feb 17, 2005 at 04:36 UTC

    Not sure if it can be found for non-X11 users, but I'm a big fan of the 'neep' font in the jmk font package.

    "This alcoholism thing, I think it's just clever propaganda produced by people who want you to buy more bottled water." -- pedestrianwolf

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by seattlejohn (Deacon) on Feb 17, 2005 at 02:31 UTC
    ProFont. It's actually a bitmap font rather than a stroke font, but it lets me dial down the font size while still being able to distinguish similar characters clearly.

    Available here (Win, Mac, Unix).

            $perlmonks{seattlejohn} = 'John Clyman';

Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by hsinclai (Deacon) on Feb 17, 2005 at 03:57 UTC
    The Windows program SecureCRT from VanDyke Software ships a font called "vt100" which is very close to Misc Fixed found on most default X installs. These have superior legibility for fixed width fonts.

    I find the Courier family quite illegible for reading code. Based on the ridiculously out-of-proportion @ alone, I'd throw it out. The most wonderful screen font is Verdana, but not for code, as it is not fixed-width. The Verdana and Tahoma benchmarks at MS included reading printed 5 point material from across the room (15 feet away iirc).

    I'd give the Lucida Console fonts a #2 rating - they are pretty close to the ideal, but usually look too "tall" or "narrow" for my taste.

    If at any time you notice any detail about the font, or any detail about a particular character, you've just gotten closer to knowing what the ideal isn't :)

    This is a hugely important area and I'm surprised it isn't brought up more by programmers..

      Thanks for the tip. That's the first fixed-pitch font I ever saw that was readable at 5-point on a 17" lcd.

      It's available to download free here

      Examine what is said, not who speaks.
      Silence betokens consent.
      Love the truth but pardon error.
Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by toma (Vicar) on Feb 19, 2005 at 06:43 UTC
    I have fiddled with fonts and decided that what I really need is big characters. While I like the idea of high information density, it is much more important to read without effort. I typically use 14 point adobe-courier on a 20" 1280x1024 screen.

    I like to adjust the fonts in different applications, This sometimes causes problems since not all applications handle this well. It makes GUI developers nervous when they see you messing with their application's fonts and colors, because these features are often not well tested and you are likely to find problems.

    I use gvim to edit code. When the monitor intensity is turned down I use the gvim default color scheme. When the intensity is cranked up I use the color scheme 'morning', which reduces the intensity of the background.

    The X setting for the font is:

    It should work perfectly the first time! - toma
Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by r34d0nl1 (Pilgrim) on Feb 24, 2005 at 16:47 UTC
    # Section 2. Display

    Window-system: x11
    The selected frame is using the font:
    :p or the old good Xterm style
Re: Font Preferences for Perl Program Editing
by Mago (Parson) on Feb 21, 2005 at 08:33 UTC
    Lucida Console or Courier 10 pitch.


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