Department of Public Affairs

Bulletin BT-001

Bulletin BT-001

Bulletin # BT-001
Visibility PUBLIC
Date of Publication 2022-11-15
Last Updated 2023-02-25
Revision D


We're starting to roll out bulletins to update customers and interested parties about what we're up to. This marks the first release! If you'd rather not be bothered by emails (we totally understand), you can visit our bulletins page to view updates from time to time or keep an eye out on our Twitter account.

Berkeley Mono was launched earlier this year on Hacker News. We just want to say thank you to all who provided feedback. Since then, we've made several optical refinements, and bug fixes as well as added a handful of new glyphs.

Berkeley Mono v1.008 is now available. If you're an existing customer, please login to download the latest release and font packages. We also want to share some progress on Ligatures, the top most requested feature. Ligatures are a hotly debated topic and we'll be taking a balanced and objective view of it.

In other news, we're launching Indie Commercial License for small businesses.

And lastly, we've made a few changes to our website and account management system. Let us know if you come across any issues.

Berkeley Mono v1.008 Release

v1.008 marks the first update since the launch of Berkeley Mono. Lots of changes and refinements to the optical aspects of Berkeley Mono. Notable optical refinements:

  • [U+0072] Lowercase 'r'
  • [U+0037] Number '7' with a stem
  • [U+0065] Lowercase 'e', improve small size legibility
  • Punctuation is centered and has equal side-bearings

If you're an existing customer, get the latest release:


If you'd like to get a copy:

Purchase Berkeley Mono

Powerline Glyphs

Berkeley Mono v1.008 also includes Powerline glyphs. These are allocated to special private Unicode range as per the powerline specification. If you'd like to install it, please follow this guide. For details, see Unicode proposal L2/19-068R2 (PDF) specification. Currently, the powerline glyphs are mapped to the following range. Should the Unicode standard be adopted, we will update Berkeley Mono accordingly.

Unicode Description
U+E0A0 Version control branch symbol
U+E0A1 Line number indicator
U+E0A2 Read-only symbol
U+E0A3 Column number indicator
U+E0B0 Right-pointing triangular block
U+E0B1 Right-pointing angular lines separator
U+E0B2 Left-pointing triangular block
U+E0B3 Left-pointing angular lines separator
Berkeley Mono - Indie Commercial License

Turkish Lira and BTC

Bulletin BT-100
Bulletin BT-100

Full v1.008 Release Notes

Ref # Tag Release Notes
v1.008 2022-10-28
RC-069 OPTICAL Added notch to y-glyph vertex, adjusted optical weight [U+0079]
RC-065 NEW GLYPH Add bitcoin symbol [U+20BF]
RC-064 BUG Fix vertical dollar sign stroke alignment [U+0024]
RC-063 BUG Fix per-thousand overlap after component change [U+2030]
RC-062 OPTICAL Adjust counter size and negative space in uppercase Schwa [U+018F]
RC-061 OPTICAL Adjust Oslash and oslash stroke weight [U+00D8] [U+00F8]
RC-060 BUG Fix iogonek comb baseline gap [U+012F]
RC-059 BUG Fix Tcedellia comb alignment [U+0162]
RC-058 BUG Fix uppercase 'A' diatrics, misaligned Aogonek [U+0104]
RC-057 BUG Fix misalignment of Eogonek ogonekcomb [U+0118]
RC-052 NEW GLYPH Add micro 'mu' glyph in the math symbols collection [U+00B5]
RC-051 BUG Fix arrows in Italic fonts (upright)
RC-050 OPTICAL Adjust zero slash stroke weight [U+0030]
RC-023 OPTICAL Improve small size legibility of 'e' [U+0065]
RC-024 NEW GLYPH Add replacement character � [U+FFFD]
RC-027 OPTICAL Improve legibility of ellipses '...' [U+2026] Bold version
RC-025 OPTICAL Optical adjustment, '?' [U+003F] Bold
RC-029 OPTICAL Optical adjustment '!' [U+0021]
RC-030 OPTICAL Optical adjustments to 'r' [U+0072]
RC-026 OPTICAL Adjust stem height, '7' [U+0037]
RC-028 BUG Minor adjustment '2' [U+0032]
RC-031 NEW GLYPH Add Turkish Lira [U+20BA]
RC-032 OPTICAL Minor optical adjustments to '3' [U+0033]
RC-033 BUG Fix Iogonek diatric alignment [U+012E]
RC-034 BUG Fix Box drawing characters in Italics version
RC-035 BUG Fix error in fullBlock [U+2588]
RC-037 BUG Fix schwa glyphs [U+0259] and [U+018F]
RC-036 NEW GLYPH Add box drawing glyphs (diagonals) [U+2571], [U+2572] and [U+2573]
RC-038 BUG Fix punctuation horizontal alignment [U+003B] [U+003A]
RC-039 NEW GLYPH Add replacement character for missing glyphs [U+FFFD]
RC-022 BUG Fix double-line box drawing glyph [U+2569]
RC-016 NEW GLYPH Add Powerline glyphs [U+E0A0] [U+E0A1] [U+E0A2] [U+E0A3] [U+E0B0] [U+E0B1] [U+E0B2] [U+E0B3]
RC-021 BUG Center align punctuation glyphs
RC-017 BUG Degrees glyph, adjust left side bearing [U+00B0]

New Glyphs


Ligatures! Ligatures! Ligatures!

Coming soon!

Listen. We have some thoughts about this ligatures thing.

Berkeley Mono's aspires to be the finest typeface for programming. Writing code should be a precise and unambiguous process. Ligatures violate this implicit assumption by changing stuff on the fly, often merging glyphs or entirely replacing them. Totally wild for an activity that demands precision and explicitness. That said, we're sympathetic to why ligatures are used and many programmers prefer to use them. We've analyzed several takes on ligatures across the programming community and the following is our quirky map of the battlefield.


Proponents of Ligatures

  • Ligatures are never stored in the code files, it is purely a private presentation layer.
  • Ligatures can be instantly turned off in the IDE or by using a different typeface without affecting the code.
  • The compiler has no idea it was fed ligatures.
  • Ligatures are like syntax highlighting, they make code easier to read and parse for humans.
  • Ligatures do not change the underlying unicode representation.
  • Ligatures reflect my training in academics. I am used to looking at formal mathematical notations.
  • I am a Theoretical Physicist.
  • Ligatures are pretty and aesthetically cute.
  • Ligatures are no different than people insisting SQL keywords should be in ALL CAPS.
  • We are humans, we don't give a damn about what the machines think or want. Obey us.
  • Programmers are the customers, Typographers are the vendors. Requirements are set by the customer and the vendor delivers according to those requirements.
  • I seldom print code for others to read or share on my screen. If I do, I turn off ligatures.
  • Ligatures do not infringe on other people's rights, they can view the code as they please in their own typefaces with or without ligatures.
  • No one is forcing anyone to use ligatures. It's a personal choice and doesn't affect others.

Opponents of Ligatures

  • One key press = One character printed on the screen. This should never be violated. We've made physical standards too (keyboards).
  • Ligatures are a needless decoration, a distraction.
  • Ligatures confuse others who are looking over my shoulder. If I temporarily turn them off, then I am confused after years of training in looking at ligatures.
  • Most code available to read out there has no ligatures unless I change the typeface in every single context.
  • I am a Compiler Engineer.
  • I read programming books. I publish programming books. In both cases, we have a common expected standard of language syntax and the glyphs that encode it.
  • Programming syntax is designed by programmers too, with common input methods in mind (Standard ANSI/ISO keyboards)
  • Fails WYSIWYG.
  • Programming languages such as Haskell and Julia natively support Unicode chars, so we should just write code with proper unicode chars, not some faux presentation layer.
  • ASCII-128 or gtfo.
  • Although ligatures are purely optional, they create mass societal unrest and chaos.
  • Ligatures promote impreciseness, ambiguity, and implicitness.
  • Unicode > Ligatures.

As you can see, we have a lot of firepower wielded by a diverse group of warriors (compiler engineer, vs. full stack engineer, vs. scientist) as well as an armada of next generation combat vehicles (C vs. Haskell); a massive fog of war. To further equip yourself with strategic aspects of the battle, there are a couple of well written articles about programming ligatures that we recommend:

We have also interviewed several engineers who have varying affinity towards the idea of ligatures. Customers who reached out to Berkeley Graphics regarding ligatures—thank you for the discussion.

Precision Ligatures

We can certainly have pretty things, if we judiciously use them, and do not erode functional aspects of programming. We're calling them "Precision-ligatures". Just made that up. Precision-ligatures will address some of the concerns about the aforementioned pros and cons. It is still in the conceptual stage and trying to figure out which glyphs are particularly suitable for precision ligatures.

What are precision-ligatures?

For example, == ligature will retain the gap between the two equal signs, we'll optimize the side-bearings as well as the fitting to make sure they look nice. Another example is ->, which can be designed as a right arrow but with two distinct parts: the stem and a arrowhead. We'll announce what we find in the next bulletin.

At the end of the day, we want our allies and partners, our customers, to be happy. It is in our strategic and diplomatic interests. That means, doing maximum things that bring fun, joy, and productivity to people that use Berkeley Mono. So, the ligatures thing is happening. Hopefully, we can release a beta version of ligatures in v1.009 by the end of the year.

Berkeley Mono - Indie Commercial License

Berkeley Mono - Indie Commercial License
Berkeley Mono Typeface, FX-200 Advertisement Poster.

We are pleased to announce a perpetual license of Berkeley Mono for commercial use. Indie Commercial License is perfect for companies with less than 5 employees. As always, unlimited everything. We are not interested in tracking page visits or how many apps you write. Just...

Go! Build something!

Users 1
Desktop/Print Unlimited installs
Websites Unlimited views
Embedded & Apps Unlimited devices
Commercial Yes (less than 5 employees)

Purchase FX-200 Price List

In kindness,
- Neil

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