Created attachment 85660 [details]
DejaVu Mono 8 Point Rendering "l" and "1"
DejaVu Version 2.33
Operating System: Windows 7
I have found DejaVu Sans Mono to be one of the best typefaces for my coding purposes. I particularly love how readable yet compact it is at small sizes. I've had difficultly though with the "1" character. I find that this character seems to me to be nearly indistinguishable from the typical "l" character form used in many other monospaced typefaces including the unfortunately ubiqutious Courier New.
The downward slant of the top serif on DejaVu Sans Mono is subtle enough that on my display at point sizes lower than 11 it is rendered as a horizontal serif, just like the 'l' character in other typefaces. At point sizes 11 and greater, the serif properly renders as a descending serif. Since I typically code in an 8 or 9 point font, this is problematic.
In my perception, a "1" formed more similarly to that of the Liberation Sans Mono typeface would resolve this issue and would better fit better with the overall design approach of the typeface by being clearly readable at all sizes--it could no longer be confused with any other character. This would include a leftward serif from the top of the character which is clearly descending from the main line of the glyph, regardless of size.
I've attached a few screenshots of the characters "l" and "1" rendered on my system in Notepad++ in a variety of typefaces at the 8 point size. Notice the similarity between the DejaVu Sans Mono "1" and the "l" of the other typefaces. Also notice how much more distinguishable the "1" character is in the typefaces which make use of a clearly descending top serif.
Created attachment 85661 [details]
Courier New 8 Point Rendering "l" and "1"
Created attachment 85662 [details]
Liberation Mono 8 Point Rendering "l" and "1"
Created attachment 85663 [details]
Droid Mono 8 Point Rendering "l" and "1"
Created attachment 85741 [details]
Perhaps this screenshot most clearly illustrates the issue. This is the "1" character from DejaVu Sans Mono compared with the "1" character from Courier New and Liberation Mono, all at the 8 point size. These are rendered in Microsoft Word 2010 on Windows 7. The characters are indistinguishable.
You're comparing different typefaces and want a distinction?
I would see it as problem, if one typeface have ambiguous glyphs of scripts commonly used together, but this is not the case.
I suggest a WONTFIX for this one, as the issue has external dependencies out of control of the font creators.
The font itself is fine in its own right.