Typography in Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

One thing I’ll nev­er under­stand is why Ubun­tu ships with such hideous default sys­tem fonts, when there are some per­fect­ly great open source fonts built right into it. For instance, UnDo­tum is a near-exact clone of Franklin Goth­ic, although strange­ly a Google search for undotum "franklin gothic" only turns up one page that men­tions the two togeth­er. It seems to be an arbi­trary sim­i­lar­i­ty, as the pur­pose of UnDo­tum and oth­er UnFonts is to pro­vide Kore­an char­ac­ters. Any­way, it makes a good win­dow title font.

Then there’s Nim­bus Sans, which is indis­tin­guish­able from Hel­veti­ca; DejaVu Sans, which as far as I can tell is a descen­dant of Frutiger (and, hence, a cousin of [Apple’s] Myr­i­ad and [Microsoft’s] Segoe UI), and makes a nice all-around sys­tem font; and Lib­er­tine, which makes for a great gen­er­al-pur­pose body serif. Once you set these as the fonts in GNOME and in Fire­fox, every­thing looks scores bet­ter — bet­ter than Ubuntu’s default look, cer­tain­ly, and arguably bet­ter than Win­dows.