Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Indic internationalization new developments and improvement in Fedora 15 (Lovelock)

   Fedora 15 (Lovelock)  got release with excellent Gnome shell. I liked gnome-shell so much that i have started using it after F15 Beta release itself ;)
   I am writing some of the noticeable development and improvement specially from indic internationalization point of view in F15.

1) New Indian Rupee Symbol
    Jul 15, 2010 Govt. of India announced about New INR symbol, made a mess by adding it on non-standard (on ) codepoint in excitement.
 During Fedora 15 Development cycle Unicode approved U+20B9 to New INR symbol and it is available in Unicode 6.0 (i guess quickest one in Unicode history thanks to DIT)
 On Qwerty keyboard AltGr+4 (Right Alt Key) allocated to it.
 Now Fedora 15 supports it and most importantly with Standardize way !!

Question: How to use it?

2) Indic Typing Booster
     This is predictive text input method for Indian languages, presently it supports Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati with itrans and Inscript layout. (Other languages will get supported soon)
    Though this is in Alpha stage it has great potential and presently in active development stage. Do give a try to this.
    Screencast of this

3) New Fonts packages:
i) pagul-fonts:
    A TrueType Font, which allows you to read and write in Saurashtra Script.
 ii) tabish-eeyek-fonts:
    A TrueType Font, which allows you to read and write in Meetei Mayek script.
Note: Pagul and tabish both are in Fedora 15 testing repo, install it with
$sudo yum install --enablerepo=updates-testing  pagul-fonts tabish-eeyek-fonts
 iii) nhn-nanum-fonts:
    Nanum fonts are collection of commonly-used Myeongjo and Gothic Korean font families, designed by Sandoll Communication and Fontrix. The publisher is NHN Corporation.
 iv) nhn-nanum-gothic-coding-fonts:
    Nanum Gothic Coding fonts are set of Gothic Korean font faces suitable for source code editing, designed by Sandoll Communication and published by NHN Corporation.
 v) thai-arundina-fonts:
    Arundina fonts were created aiming at Bitstream Vera / Dejavu compatibility, under SIPA's initiation. They were then further modified by TLWG for certain aspects, such as Latin glyph size compatibility and OpenType conformance.

3) Indic Rendering Improvement:
Lohit Devanagari Release 2.4.5:
          Added new ligature द्ध्र्य , Resolved shirorekha problem ग्मि, Customized glyphs for Nepali with locl feature (First indic fonts to have 'locl' feature implemented)
    Fixed most of the qt/harfbuzz indic rendering issues, In pango smaller improvement in Backspace processing for some indic characters.

4) Language Support
   i) Kashmiri
         a) select kashmiri keyboard layout from ibus-preferences (Kashmiri->inscript)
         b) Lohit Devanagari supports Kashmiri Characters recently added in Unicode 6.0
   ii)  Sindhi
     a) select kashmiri keyboard layout from ibus-preferences (Sindhi->inscript)
     b) Lohit Devanagari supports Sindhi Characters
5) bharati-m17n
    bharati is an enhancement to input method based on Inscript layout and implements unique transformation rule of deleting on the fly the previous dependent vowel for Indic languages.
6) Packages Latest Version:
Liberation Fonts:
Added U+040D and U+0400 for Bulgarian language.
For Font Developers:
glyphtracer-1.3-1.fc15 (Glyphtracer takes an image of letters. It detects all letter forms and allows the user to tag them.  They are then vectorised and passed on to Fontforge for fine tuning.)
IBus Sayura 1.3.1 release. (The Sayura engine for IBus platform. It provides Sinhala input method.)

In this mostly writing indic related stuff but considering overall for i18n there are lots of things available in Fedora 15, so enjoy Fedora 15 with excellent and very useful i18n updates as well !!