Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lohit2: Improvement plans for Lohit-Tamil

   In last phase we did excellent improvements in Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurumukhi and Malayalam with Lohit2 projects. Bengali is already done i need to test it for completeness then i can do the release of same soon.

  Now remaining are Kannada, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. We are moving ahead and started working on Tamil development now.

  Improvements we are planning to do are as follows:
  • Renaming glyphs as per AGL.
  • Rewriting Open type rules following 'taml' and "tml2" [1]
  • Create testing file which covers most of the combinations.
  • Testing with Harfbuzz and Uniscribe.
  • Auto testing module.
  • Feature file compiled with AFDKO. (Adobe fonts development kit for Open Type) [2]
  • Follow Tamil script standards. Unicode.
   We have already started development on lohit2 git [3]

   I need help specifically for following items.
  • Creating test file with adding important combinations.
  • Identifying standards around Tamil script, i did not found other than Unicode yet.
   If one dont know about lohit2 project, do read blog [4]


Monday, August 11, 2014

#flocktofedora 7th and 8th August AT Prague, Czech Republic and me !!

   If you missed my earlier blog, read it here

    First talk of the 7th morning for me was "From Schedule to (awesome)". The important thing we should note is EOL bug closing. Almost 4 to 5 thousands bugs get auto closed during EOL. Yes, Reporter'ss do get notifications regarding closing of bugs but i think developers should take active involvement and make sure any relevant bug should not get closed without fix.

    Next talk from "Tuan Anh Truong" on "Improving Ambassadors Mentor Program", he mentioned number of issues from Ambassadors program including he does not get replys from some of his ideas and again APAC budget was not used fully and this time it get reduced. He specifically said almost 30 Ambassadors from India but no one is active. I had discussion with him later on and promised that at least i will do some contribution.

    Keynote was nice, it is recorded and available on [1]

    During break i had nice conversation with Mattias and Christian about improving language support in Fedora and happy with there positive response, if time permits will definitely start drafting plan for this.

    After that we had some offline meeting on planning for Fedora 22.

    Attended last session of the day that is " Planning for Fedora 22". This session where we had open house type discussion and taken mostly inputs from most of the attendees. We noted down positive, negative things in Fedora. what we can do for Fedora 22. It was long session but very fruitful session.

    Later we had boat party. It was nice party, i specifically loved the food :)

    3rd day we had talk from Jens on "Fedora i18n: Past, Present and Future". I really liked the way he covered i18n changes over the last almost 10 years. One of the most informative talk on i18n after long time. Video for it available on [2]

    After this session we had big discussion with Carlos of glibc. We specifically talked glibc Unicode support, Sorting issues and synchronising data with CLDR. We did some rough planning for future development. Most probably it will be proposed as a feature for next releases of glibc. Me, Mike, Anish and Jens were involved in this discussion.

    Lunch was very good on 3rd day, it was bit spicy. I liked it :) Not even used spices, i specifically brought from India.

    Fedmsg workshop was very informative for people interesting in building app on Fedora messaging stuff. Ralph Bead given nice tips for doing it. If you still not there join #fedora-fedmsg on Freenode and see how it tracks each change in Fedora.

    Last workshop i attended was from Parag and Haikel. The workshop is specifically memorable since 2 FPC, 9 package sponsors were present there. !!

    Third day we got some time in the evening and done some shopping. Its awesome to walk on Prague's road. Did not attended Dance party planned on 3rd day.

    As i written in earlier blog as well, so many things happen so do check #flocktofedora for more information.

    Ohh i missed to write, we took GROUP PHOTO on 3rd day. Jared Smith Rocks !!!  Original photo available AT [3]

    My earlier blog on First day is available AT [4]

    Will add photos in my FB and tagged it with Fedora


Friday, August 08, 2014

My first day of FLOCK 2014 at Prague, Czech Republic

    Actually i dont like international travel due to involvement of troublesome VISA process, long travel time and all immigration kind of stuff. This time i decided to attend Fedora conference since it almost 7+ years with Fedora and only one conference that was FudCon in Pune 2011. On the other hand number of things are changing in Fedora specifically with Fedora.Next and wanted to meet most of Fedora star contributor face to face. :)

    Arrived on 5th morning to Prague so it gave me good time to get rest and get ready for the first day of flock.

    This flock is organized very nicely with the understanding of number of contributors those are not able to make to conference and we have provided live stream facility and also recording off all the talks. Live stream is available on youtube at [1]

    Keynote was excellent, it was very motivating for contributors with the information about how EU government understand the importance of open source and using it in most of the government places and also contributing to open source. Its recording available at [2]

    After keynote immediately my presentation was scheduled [3], got a nice audience. Recording for my presentation is available at [4].

    Basically i talked on four things, why fons are important, not much happening in Fedora for fonts. I proposed one fonts portal named open source fonts world for gathering all opensource fonts available in different distros. Presenting fonts in better way, more categorized way and prepare some analysis of what is present and what is not. I have done some work earlier and alpha is available at [5]. Feel free to ping me if you are interested in contributing to it. Or if any more ideas..

    I must say there are lots of interesting talk in flock and some are happening parallel, so missed some good talks.

    I attended "Where's Wayland" from Matthias Clasen and yes wayland in Gnome 3.12 :)

    Lunch was nice, though place is 5min walk from conference venue but that is good, Prague is best city for walking. !! Lunch time was bit more than what i expected that is 2 hrs but i think it is good from contributors networking consideration.

    After lunch i attended "Fedora workstation" talk from Christian F.K Schaller and really impressed with the plans for Fedora workstation. One of the point which he mentioned which i hope i understood correctly is taking good input from Fedora marketing team and proceeding as per strategy. With my marketing specialization i am sure this is right strategy as far as we do not understand our target market properly adding new feature will not help much to us. Though its always difficult to get open source community work as per marketing strategy ;)

    Workstation talk recorded available at [6], must watch !!

    Then next was Anish and Mike talked on Predictive text input method (ibus-typing-booster), one nice point came up during question and answer is how can we have prediction during anaconda processing. Yeah that is important for speedy installation. Most of the information for ibus-typing-booster is available AT [7]

    for 4pm to 4.45pm session i took break since i was very tired and had some offline conversations with attendees.

    I attended "Fedora Ambassadors: State of the Union" [8] session from Jiří Eischmann. Understood two topic regarding number of Ambassadors are inactive from long time. APAC did not able to use there whole budget so budget got less in current FY. I do not remember any Fedora 20 release party in India this time. So yeah, people interested in Fedora and want to celebrate Fedora success, want to spread word do come up, we need you. I will definitely do some contribution to Ambassador program this year. We have only one mentor from India that is Kushal. I really like Fedora student University representative program idea, hoping that plan will get into production soon.

    Last talk from Christoph Wickert on "Advocating" was one of the excellent talk and it was housefull. If anyone still not understood Fedora.Next and want some more food for Advocating must watch this talk at [9]

    So had nice and fruitful first day @ flock 2014.

    We had pub party at the end of day and contributors enjoyed lot in it. Competition of tables for consuming highest beer was interesting and Praha-1 rockes with over 56ltr of beer. :-o

    I am sure there are many more things happened than my blog, so do go through other blogs and tweets tagged with #flocktofedora for getting glimpse of it. 

       Cheers !!   

    Note: I started writing this blog on first day but due to packed day, not able to complete it and publishing it on Day 3 :)


Sunday, August 03, 2014

All is set for attending Flock 2014 conference !!

    Almost 2 months, when i started planning to attend flock-2014 [1] conference. Had number of hurdle including talk selection, sponsorship for Travel, then VISA issues. Now just 3 days to go for flock and happy that everything is perfectly set for attending conference. I will start my journey tomorrow from India.

    Thanks to Fedora for providing sponsorship for Travel and Accommodation. Specially thanks to Ruth for helping in booking flight tickets. I am going to talk on "Better presentation of Fonts in Fedora". [2] Excited to talk on this interesting topic and have get together with numerous Fedora contributors.

    Schedule of Flock is excellent with added some Fun items.

    Looking forward to meet all attendees in Prague :)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Interesting dilemma of Devanagari script fonts

I am sure after reading this post all font developers of well know Devanagari script fonts will start looking at there fonts again and start thinking there font is for which language?

Either they have developed font for Devanagari script or is it font for some specific language or it is simply a mess ?

As most of you know Devanagari script is widely used for number of languages. Major languages in this list are Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Konkani, Sanskrit, Maithili, Kashmiri and Sindhi and some more languages.

Each language has some specific requirements from Devanagari script as follows.

    Characters requirement from Devanagari script block:
        Kashmiri, Marathi, Sindhi and Sanskrit has specific characters defined in Unicode Devanagari code page[1]. This is bit easy to identify, since Unicode has mentioned  it clearly for codepoints.

    Ligatures/Conjuncts requirement from Devanagari script:
        This one is bit tricky and one must go through each language standard documents from Governments or standardization organizations. I would like to mention some important differences here.

        1. Locale specific shapes for Unicode characters

Different shapes of same characters required in particular language.  Few examples of these are in Marathi "ल" (U+0932) and "श" (U+0936) are different than Unicode code block characters, same way Nepali language also has few different shapes for numerals. (Refer Lohit fonts for more information [2])

       2. Different behaviour of conjuncts across language. 

      This one is really painful, since there are not 3-4 but lots of conjuncts characters are different in widely used languages like Hindi and Marathi. Hindi language mostly prefers horizontal ligature (i.e. simply half form of characters) while language like Marathi, Sanskrit requires ligature form of conjunct which is used to be stacked.

After considering above points:
when you see, download or use any Devanagari font, you will definitely start thinking this font is for which language exactly?
Font for Hindi language with horizontal ligatures?
Font for Marathi language with Stacked ligature?
Pan Devanagari fonts supporting all language?
Even though its pan devanagari fonts, what it renders in en_US/en_IN locale?

       Lohit2 is one of the best example of how to handle this effectively. Still it needs some fixes for default behaviour of Lohit Devanagari font. Since Devanagari is widely used for Hindi language, i am in fever of making default behaviour of Lohit Devanagari to match with Hindi language and for other languages one should either download Lohit fonts for specific language (lohit-marathi, lohit-nepali)  or select appropriate locale while using Lohit Devanagari.

      Still question arises if default behaviour matches Hindi then, why it is called Devanagari, but i think answer is since it supporting other languages as well it is called Lohit Devanagari.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lohit2: Next one is Lohit Assamese and Bengali fonts improvement

  In last six month we have completed Devanagari (Marathi and Nepali), Gujarati, Gurmukhi and Malayalam under lohit2 project [1]. We have done significant improvement in these fonts not only from technical perspective but also from standards perspective. I am confident enough to say Lohit follows all standards around fonts and Indian languages and scripts guidelines.

  I attended [2] conference in last weekend and talked with people around on lohit2. Happy to see number of people in fonts domain  are aware regarding Lohit fonts. Few people even used Lohit fonts during the workshop to demonstrate some points. Few people proposed enhancement for adding more ligature, so we all are going good :)

  This is time to do improvements in Lohit Assamese and Bengali. Followings are improvements we are looking for..

  • Removing not required ligatures.
  • Rewriting efficient open type tables.
  • Support to the "beng" and "bng2" open type script tags.
  • Building fonts through feature file (.fea)
  • Following AGL specification syntax.
  • Testing on Harfbuzz NG, Uniscribe(W8). 
  • Automated Testing Tool utilization

    One of the important task prior to development is to identify guidelines, specifications for Assamese and Bengali script. We do have TDIL documents available and will see if there is any other. With these improvements i am sure Lohit Assamese and Bengali can become standard reference font for upcoming Bengali fonts project.

    Need help from Assamese and Bengali language expert. I know few already and will ping them for more input during the developments. Development activity is going to happen in lohit2 [3] git.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review of Kannada fonts released by Karnataka Government

I just did a quick review of fonts released by Karnataka Government [a]. This is not from rendering perspective but from technical aspects of the fonts.

All fonts has following issues:

1. Font is specified as a Serif in PFM family.    Fonts is sans-serif still style is incorrectly given in true type fonts.

2. Version should not contain wording like "Initial Beta release".
    Presently given versions are like:- "1.000 2013 initial Beta release"
    Please refer [b] for version guidelines.

3. Font Embedding Permissions should be more relax.
    Presently it is only Editable embedding. It should Installable fonts so even receiver of document can use it.
    Refer font embedding permissions [c]

4. Incorrect License url of TTF names not working

5. Some glyphs does not follows AGL guidelines
    Font has some glyph names starts with "_".
    Example: _uni0C96_uni0CCD  there is also glyph name uni0C96_uni0CCD. When two glyphs has same component one should be with name .alternate or .alt
    In above case it should be
    uni0C96_uni0CCD and uni0C96_uni0CCD.alt
    Please refer: [d]
    "If multiple glyphs in a font represent the same character in the Unicode standard, such as "A" and "A.swash," they can be differentiated by using the same base name with different suffixes. The suffix (the part of glyph name that follows the first period) does not participate in the computation of a character sequence. It can be used by font designers to indicate special characteristics of the glyph. The suffix may contain periods or any other permitted characters. For example, small cap "A" could thus be named "" or """

6. This is not a bug but font contains 1478 glyphs. 
I am sure one can make same quality font with less number of glyphs by using Open type GSUB and GPOS tables.

7. Normal and Bold version of font should have same family name.

Following are the fonts in release tarball
  • Kar Chandrashekhara Kambara.ttf 
  • Kar Girish Karnad.ttf         (Bold:-  Looks like bold version of Kar Chandrashekhara Kambara.ttf   )
  • Kar Puthina.ttf
  • Kar Gopalakrishna Adiga.ttf   (Bold: Looks like bold version of Puthina)
  • Kar Puchamthe.ttf  
  • Kar U R Ananthamurthy.ttf
  • Kar K S Narasimhaswamy.ttf  (Bold)
  • Kar Maasthi.ttf     (Bold)
  • Kar Kuvempu.ttf              (Bold)
  • Kar Shivarama Karantha.ttf  (Bold)
  • Kar Vi Kru Gokak.ttf  (Bold)

  • Kar Da Raa Bendre.ttf

      Above mentioned bugs should be fix before the purchase and release of the fonts from Government. One should test rendering of these fonts with latest stable version of Harfbuzz-NG included in most of the key projects including Libreoffice, Gnome, Android and so on. These rendering issues must be fixed before the release of the fonts.


Tags: #kannada, #fonts, #agl, #harfbuzz, #opentype