Way back in the day, when I first really got into real Mac programming I used an old IDE called Think Pascal. One of the cool things about it was that unlike Think C, it allowed programming with proportional fonts. I typically used Geneva to code in Pascal and Monoco to program in C. I later switched to doing almost all my coding in Visual Studio which didn’t work well with proportional fonts. When I used Xcode I typically just used the default font. Later, especially when doing Python programming in TextMate or BBedit I used some of the newer monospaced fonts like Microsoft’s Consolas, Inconsolata or Andale Mono. Since then other fonts have come out like Adobe’s Source Code Pro, Anonymous Pro.
Over on ADN I was discussing old proportional fonts and someone mentioned to me that Xcode actually works with proportional fonts. He loved to use Verdana to code with. Both Verdana and Lucida Grande work quite nice. However they have a big problem in that the zero and O aren’t easy to distinguish at a gland. likewise a lower case L and an I look basically the same. I started playing around with quite a few fonts and discovered that Google had actually made a collection of programming fonts you can download. Several are serif fonts and I find most serif fonts are hard to code with. (Nightmares of having to code with Courier a few times) The only one of Google’s fonts I liked was Trim. But it is quite nice.
Surprising, since I have that bias against serif fonts for programming, Georgia actually is very easy to read code in. Sadly the zero doesn’t have a dot or cross through it and is about the same size and shape as the lower case O. Still that’s what I’m using right now.
Ideally there would be a free or at least cheap font editor so I could make a minor change like copy Inconsolata’s zero and paste it into a custom Georgia or Verdana. I tried Font Forge via MacPorts but I could never get the fonts it produced to get imported correctly by OSX.