Font: Courier New Size: 9 is flawed for programming and other serious documents

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skybuck2000

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Dec 8, 2020, 2:23:18 AM12/8/20
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I just ran into the stranges code:

var
Lan1 : SomeType;
begin
Lanl.SomeFunction();

The compiler nagged it couldn't find the variable.
So I copied the code into textpad which uses slightly bigger font.
Thanks to the bigger font I noticed the difference between 1 and l.
Otherwise it was hard to catch and I might have believed it may have been some strange unicode symbol.

Turns out the courier new font at size 9 is simply flawed for programming, the 1 and l is exactly the same. Even at higher sizes the difference is minor, 1 pixel or so. Perhaps not use this font anymore for programming or make a slight change to it so the 1 and l remains different at hopefully all font sizes !

(My current Delphi 10.2 development environment uses it ! Not sure if this is the default or if I set it like that ! ;))


Euhm my recommendation is to write all C/C++ code for confuscating contests with 1 and l symbols only for futher complexifieing analysis of code ! LOL.

I also took the courtesy of adding this warning to the wikipedia about courier new, feel free to start a wiki war with me and others ! LOL =D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courier_(typeface)#In_computer_programming

My soon to be famous text added is:

"
Warning
This font is not suited for programming or any other serious documentation. The numeric one and small letter L look to similiar example: 1 vs l
On some development environments it's exactly the same depending on font size, for example at size 9 the one pixel difference is gone.
"

Bye,
Skybuck.

P.S.: When I discovered this bug I went like: "HOOOOLLYYYSHIIIT"

Then later: "PPPPPPFFFFFFffffff"

Also I am not the first to have found this, there are a few other mentions found by google !

P.S.2: For fun let me know if your current newsgroup/mail reader has this problem too, or your development environment, or document editor would be funny to know ! =D

P.S.3: I wonder if a NASA or ESA space lander will someday crash because of a wrong l vs 1 ! LOL. Perhaps by uploading a wrong script or wrong math formulas ;) :)

P.S.4: I recommend writing a computer program that does a visual inspection of all symbols vs all symbols (for all font sizes) (and even all fonts !) and do a pixel by pixel comparision to detect any other similiar problems or perhaps too few pixel differences !
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