I came across an interesting monospace font, Inconsolata, when it was featured at Smashing Magazine (along with other interesting fonts). I’ve started using it — it speaks to both my geek programmer and aesthetic sensibilities.
I’ve noticed that straight quotes (single or double) lean slightly to the right, as if it doesn’t know if it’s a straight quote or a curly quote, exactly. This is “pretty”. Unfortunately, the backtick (`) leans the same way to the left, around the same angle. This can possibly be a problem (or maybe that’s too harsh: the word is annoyance) especially for types such as myself who habitually use backticks and straight quotes in the same line (see the SQL queries above).
The same goes for zero (0) and uppercase O — the former isn’t slashed, and the difference in width between the two is rather slight especially at small font sizes. I don’t want to need to use a bigger, less space-efficient font size just to use the font. The number one (1) and lowercase l seem different enough to me, so that’s good.
The font is pretty, but is pretty enough?
We’ll see. If I end up getting annoyed because I’d be hunting for code errors and can’t easily distinguish it (due to things looking somewhat the same… especially at 3AM in the morning and some 486732478623472 lines of code later), I suppose it will be time to look for another font.
For the moment — it’s shiny!