[tbb-bugs] #17250 [Tor Browser]: Japanese font(s) look ugly on websites

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Tue Oct 6 20:18:49 UTC 2015

#17250: Japanese font(s) look ugly on websites
     Reporter:  gk           |      Owner:  tbb-team
         Type:  defect       |     Status:  new
     Priority:  normal       |  Milestone:
    Component:  Tor Browser  |    Version:
   Resolution:               |   Keywords:  tbb-fingerprinting-fonts
Actual Points:               |  Parent ID:
       Points:               |    Sponsor:

Comment (by arthuredelstein):

 Replying to [comment:4 yawning]:
 > Replying to [comment:3 arthuredelstein]:
 > > Replying to [comment:1 yawning]:
 > > > A few things, by platform:
 > > >  * Linux uses `NotoSansCJKsc-Regular.otf`. I'm not sure why we ship
 the Simplified Chinese version of the font.  But it's legible, though I
 haven't looked for differences/stuff that's broken very hard.
 > >
 > > The NotoSansCJKsc-Regular.otf font covers Japanese, Korean, and both
 Simplified and Traditional Chinese. The "sc" refers to the fact that it
 defaults to Simplified Chinese character variants if the language has not
 been specified by a page.
 > Ah ok.  Shouldn't we be shipping a separate Noto variant for each ov the
 CJKV (+TC) locales that we have bundles for?  By default, someone that's
 using the ja_JP bundle is likely going to hit pages with no language
 specifier that are in Japanese...

 That would be ideal, but it's difficult to implement because we're trying
 not to leak the user's locale. We would need to ensure that the CJKVsc and
 CJKVjp have the same apparent name exposed to Firefox, and the bounding
 rectangles for every character are the same for each variant. It might be

 > If the browser automagically handles all of this, that's great.  I don't
 read Japanese content that much, so I have no idea how modern browsers
 handle this stuff.  Also, Han Unification is Stupid, and should be


 > > >  * Under Windows, there's no fonts configured for Japanese
 (`about:preferences#content`->`Advanced`), the drop-downs for Serif, Sans-
 serif, and Monospace are empty. I have no idea how Firefox handles fonts
 named in Japanese (eg: `MS 明朝` whitelisted as `MS Mincho`), but I
 can't select the fonts even though they're present on the system.  Even
 the `about:tor` page looks kind of horrible.
 > >
 > > Right now on Windows (in the alpha) only MS Mincho is whitelisted, so
 that's the only Japanese font available. I will look into whether it would
 be possible to whitelist more Windows fonts. Are there some you would
 > Err. If MS Mincho is whitelisted, why isn't it being used?  As in, with
 the ja_JP bundle on Windows, there are no fonts configured for Japanese at

 Oops, I got confused -- in Windows TBB 5.5.3a, there are actually four
 fonts whitelisted specifically for Japanese: MS Mincho, MS PMincho, MS
 Gothic, MS PGothic.

 Here's a page to check that all four Japanese fonts are available to
 content pages:


 I notice that both serif and sans-serif choose MS PGothic. This seems
 wrong, but it's true for vanilla Firefox as well.

 On Windows, do you see important situations where TBB 5.5.3a Japanese text
 is worse than Firefox? Not that we shouldn't fix vanilla Firefox text
 rendering problems, but I want to fix TBB-specific problems first.

 For example, ja.wikipedia.org looks basically identical on my Windows
 machines on Firefox and TBB.

 > Likewise, if it's whitelisted, why can't I select it as my Serif font
 (It should at least appear in the dropdown...)?

 I don't know why the dropdown is failing.

 > I assume if I hack up my profile to use: `MS 明朝` for my Serif and `
 MS ゴシック` as my Sans-Serif font that things will actually look ok,
 but I haven't tried yet (Double width `M`, `S`, single-width ` `).

 That would be very helpful if you find preference settings that make it
 look better for you.

 > It's worth noting that despite the fonts having been shipped since
 Windows 3.1, we should not be whitelisting either if "the font has glyphs
 that changed between versions" is an issue.

 We decided, at this stage, not to try to protect users from that issue.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/17250#comment:5>
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