When comparing DejaVu Sans Mono vs Inconsolata, the Slant community recommends DejaVu Sans Mono for most people. In the question“What are the best programming fonts?” DejaVu Sans Mono is ranked 1st while Inconsolata is ranked 55th. The most important reason people chose DejaVu Sans Mono is:
DejaVu Sans Mono has one of the most complete Unicode fonts available. This means you have access to a wide range of special symbols including mathematical symbols like arrows, operators, and special alphabets. This is useful for certain languages that require special characters like Agda. Some languages allow using these characters optionally. There are editor modes that display characters like this without changing the underlying file, much like syntax highlighting. The Emacs modes for OCaml and Haskell are prime examples.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Excellent unicode support
DejaVu Sans Mono has one of the most complete Unicode fonts available. This means you have access to a wide range of special symbols including mathematical symbols like arrows, operators, and special alphabets. This is useful for certain languages that require special characters like Agda.
Some languages allow using these characters optionally. There are editor modes that display characters like this without changing the underlying file, much like syntax highlighting. The Emacs modes for OCaml and Haskell are prime examples.
Pro Very clear distinction between similar characters
It's easy to distinguish between characters such as I, 1, l, O, and 0 in DejaVu Sans Mono.
Pro Nice uniform spacing
The font is well spaced and doesn't break up words.
Pro Clean, readable design
Reading the text is pleasant and effortless. Letter forms combine nicely into words.
Pro Bold font is the same width as the regular weight font
The Sans Mono version is graphically close to Andale Mono (Microsoft core web font), slightly bolder, with the added bonus of the bold font being the same width as the regular one (unlike Andale Mono). It is a nice property with some syntax highlighting text editors.
Pro It's subtle, yet stilish and extremely readable, very easy on eyes and very effective for long development sessions.
Pro Available with every linux distribution and works fine in vim, emacs and atom
Pro Closely related to MobaFont
For MobaXterm users, this font closely mirrors the embedded MobaFont so they can use a monospace font across other applications.
Pro Characters readable even at small sizes
The characters in Inconsolata have a slightly "wide" appearance that aids in readability, especially at small font sizes.
Pro No visible character breaks
Inconsolata renders lines in TUIs without visible character breaks; apparently unlike Inconsolata-g
Pro Slashed zero characters are distinguishable from capital "O" and "Q" characters
Inconsolata-g screws this up by replacing the slashed zero with a dotted zero. A dotted zero is better than a zero with nothing in it, but worse than a slashed zero.
Pro Efficient scalability
Inconsolata scales well without loss of readability.
Pro Excellent readability
Very clear, distinct characters with decent spacing make Inconsolata very readable.
Pro Open source
It's an open source font, meaning it's freely available.
Pro Widely available
Inconsolata is available in the package managers of almost every open source OS.
Con The "-" symbol is short
For example, when using the '-' symbol for borders, it's super short in this font.
Con Crowded bold styles
At size 12, in bold text, some letters bump up against each other too closely, greatly reducing legibility.
Con No ligatures
Missing programming ligatures.
Con Tilde character lacks curvature
The tilde character in this font ('~') does not have enough curvature to be read easily at small sizes. This can be a concern for Unix(-like) shell users and script writers, as the tilde is used relatively often compared to other symbols.
Con Dotted zero
Dotted zero is less readable than slashed zero
Con Missing some Vietnamese characters
ấ, ề, ự, etc. are missing in DejaVu Sans Mono.
Con Arched braces
Too much arched braces, decreases clarity, touching characters almost.