Trying the Fira Code font

typographyfonts Tue 11 September 2018

I'm currently trying out the Fira Code font for coding, which most of the time means Perl, Javascript, HTML, CSS. It's USP is a collection of ligatures for programmers. I'm really not sure what I think so far.

Here's some random bits of Perl in my usual font:

Source Code Pro

And here's what that looks like with Fira Code:

Source Code Pro

Some of the changes are subtle, but I definitely like them. For example, with :: and .. and some other pairs, the two characters cuddle each other a bit more closely than usual, which helps with visual chunking.

The -> and => arrows are rendered as proper arrows, but my brain is slightly freaked out by these, after so many years seeing them rendered separately.

And then we have <=, >=, and !=, which look very different. The trouble with these is that my screen is effectively lying about what characters are in the file. Semantically the symbols are clearer, so I guess the idea is that your brain can visually process more effectively / efficiently, and it can handle the fact that what's onscreen isn't exactly what's in the file.

I forgot to include @ in the screenshots, but the @ in Fira Code is just weird.

There are a lot of other ligatures, many of them for specific languages. See the full set.

After a week the little voice in my head is still telling me to go back, but I'll try it for a bit longer.

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