Last modified: 2014-07-24 12:13:19 UTC
A known bug  of Internet Explorer 10 and earlier makes the generic "serif" rendered poorly in Japanese, mixing one font (a Mincho font, close to serif) and another (said to be the Korean "Batang" font, close to sans-serif), character by character in one line. (screen shot in ) Because Latin-script fonts specified for headings in the current Vector skin are not applicable to Japanese scripts, the generic "serif" has to be applied. This results in IE users in Japanese experiencing a readability issue due to the forementioned rendering bug of the browser.
Note that this is not merely an aesthetic preference, but a problem close to breakage in the interface; when users see this anomaly in the font style, most would go to check and see if something is broken on their computers.
Also discussed in https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Typography_refresh#About_troubles_include_IE.27s_rendering_error_in_Japanese_Wikipedia
A workaround would be to prepend to the font-family specification a font such as "HGP明朝B" (a serif-like font specifically designed for headings) or "MS PMincho", that is widely available among the IE users and close to serif. Because "MS PMincho" can be poorly rendered on Mac (bundled with MS Office) and Linux (bundled with Wine), a suggested font set for headings in Japanese would be: "IPAPMincho", "ヒラギノ明朝 Pro", "Hiragino Mincho Pro", "HGP明朝B", "MS PMincho", serif. Doing this would require the font stack to be localisable as part of the skin.
A similar set for Wikipedia was suggested in an independent blog post by a Wikipedia reader. <http://kozyty.com/blog/2013/12/what-happens-wikipedia-redesign/>
(In reply to Yusuke Matsubara from comment #0)
> makes the generic "serif" rendered poorly in Japanese
> Also discussed in
Seeing that this ticket was filed on 2014-04-11 and as the link provided above points to the "Typography refresh" page, I assume that the generic "serif" font rendering problem only 'appeared' after the Typography Refresh changes were deployed on Wikimedia sites.
Quoting bug 63351 comment 7, "As of I595feec9, the MediaWiki 1.23 release branch does not include any fonts changes compared to previous releases – everything, text and headings, is just 'sans-serif'."
Hence this cannot be an issue for 1.23.0. Removing Target Milestone.
On Japanese Wikipedia, users are testing this hack: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Gadget-SwitchFont.js https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Gadget-SwitchFont.css
It blacklists old browsers that cannot render fonts properly. (and also adds per-environment font specifications for MacOS and Windows.)
I realize the script above is ad-hoc, but would a similar solution with browser detection plausible?