OT: Google font corrupt

LEGEND ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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Now Im back I'll tell you a story which drove me mad for a few hours today. In all my time as a dev this has to be about the most confusing I've come across.

 

Last evening I made updates to a website and sent to a client.....all great and approved, worked perfectly. This afternoon I revisted the website in Firefox, the same browser I was using the previous evening and ALL the text was corrupt, only showing a few cap letter 'T's and 'E's - all the other font characters were blank spaces........completely unreadable......weird right?

 

So I rebooted computer but still the same. I viewed in localhost and remote and ALL the text throughout the website was corrupt, where previously it had been perfect for 4 years. I thought this Firefox browser has become corrupt so I ditched the cache (that's another story), looked again, still all the text corrupt. Next I viewed in Chrome where the text was perfect!....WTF is going on I thought. Looked on mobile devices in Firefox and Chrome, text perfect. It's got to be the desktop version of Firefox, so I thought, BUT no it was a corrupt linked Google font. As soon as I changed the link to a different Google font the text all appeared perfect in Firefox on desktop, as soon as I changed it back to the original font, which the website has been using for the past 4 years, it disappered apart from a few 'T' and 'E's

 

It seems even stranger that Chrome had no trouble showing the Google font but Firefox did.

 

Has anyone else had a Google font go corrupt on them?

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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In a word, YES.  

 

Google Fonts' quality control is OK but not great.  To work well in all devices, all font types (EOT, TTF, SVG, SVGZ, WOFF) should be supported. Firefox looks for WOFF fonts.  Sometimes font foundries update fonts which can introduce new  corruptions.  Test fonts regularly on multiple devices with & w/o font variants.

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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LEGEND ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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quote

In a word, YES.  

 

Google Fonts' quality control is OK but not great.  To work well in all devices, all font types (EOT, TTF, SVG, SVGZ, WOFF) should be supported. Firefox looks for WOFF fonts.  Sometimes font foundries update fonts which can introduce new  corruptions.  Test fonts regularly on multiple devices with & w/o font variants.

 


By @Nancy OShea

 

First time its happened to me and peculiarly just in the desktop version of Firefox, since today. It seems to be referencing a woff file but something is not right, since today. I didn't think this could happen, it seems completely random as to which device/browser it may effect. If it was on my clients device/browser I would not believe them IF I was seeing it correctly on my device/browser and unable to replicate the issue. Theres no chance I'd be able to put it right unless I had the foresight of linking it to a corrupt Google font and not that is was related to either a device or browser.

 

Which leads me to think is it safe then linking to Google fonts directly if this can strike out of the blue, its insane.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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I rarely use Google except for Droid or Open Sans fonts.  I get better variety from Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit). 

 

No font server is 100% perfect though. You need comparable fallback fonts in the CSS just in case.

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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LEGEND ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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It was the Open Sans font albeit linked about 4 years back which was very different to the link structure nowdays.

 

Well I found the problem and weird it is.

 

As an experiment after researching Google font issues I added:

 

& subset = latin, greek, greek-ext

 

to the end of the Google font link string after the font weight and temporarily via the Firefox dev tools and immediately all the font characters reappeared again just like magic! WTF!

 

Naturally I thought that when I refreshed the page or viewed another page within the website the characters would disappear again, why wouldnt they - it was only a temporary measure adding that line of code BUT no adding that line of code seems to have cleared something in the browser itself, even though its not even in the page code anymore after a refresh - WTF?

 

So I've lost copious amounts of time, lost all my settings in the browser as I emptied the cache, removed the browser and re-installed it and that is what it came down to, lol. Resorted to changing the font throughout the website which worked. Ran more tests to make sure that hadnt had any adverse effects, etc. No wonder I'm happy about largely stepping away from this rubbish these days, its enough to drive one insane, not to mention how would I charge the client what is nearly a full days work and a bit more for something which is so fickle and was work perfectly last evening!! You have got to have a laugh or you would end up crying.

 

 Is it a Google font issue or a browser issue - I havent a clue.

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