Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Compiling Lohit fonts feature file with Adobe Font Development Kit

This first came to notice with issue "OTM error #13". Everything was working perfectly with fontforge, creating feature file and importing feature file back :)

But certainly above issue open up number of issues with this process. Font designers were not able to import .fea file due to this issue.

Thanks to Dave and Frank for pointing to issue and directing me towards Adobe Font Development Kit (AFDKO). Adobe is the one created specification for .fea file and provided nice tools to compile it.  Most of the information already available AT http://www.adobe.com/devnet/opentype/afdko/topic_overview.html 

 This blog is specifically to update how i am using AFDKO in Lohit project.

Steps:
1. Write open type tables for Lohit fonts in Fontforge.
2. Export .fea file
3. Generate .ttf by importing .fea file to it using following commands.
4. makeotf -f Lohit-Tamil.ttf -ff Lohit-Tamil.fea

It fails with error but it generates unix Type1 font required for makeotfexe.

What errors :)

  makeotf command pass following arguments to makeotfexe

  "makeotfexe "-f" "Lohit-Tamil.ttf.tmp" "-o" "Lohit-Tamil.ttf.temp_cff" -ff "Lohit-Tamil.fea" -ga -gf "Lohit-Tamil.ttf.temp.GOADB" -mf "FontMenuNameDB" -shw"

In above argument  "-ga -gf "Lohit-Tamil.ttf.temp.GOADB"  are not required but somehow automatically gets added by makeotf.

But makeotf done one good job of converting source font 'Lohit-Tamil.ttf' to temporary Unix Type1 font file 'Lohit-Tamil.ttf.tmp'

5. run makeotfexe removing problem cuasing arguments.
 makeotfexe "-f" "Lohit-Tamil.ttf.tmp" "-o" "Lohit.ttf" -ff "Lohit-Tamil.fea" -mf "FontMenuNameDB" -shw

And here get you Lohit.ttf build by adding .fea file with AFDKO.

Hope so it will help to some others as well.

I specifically found this very useful for finding issues in Lohit-Devanagari.fea files.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lohit Tamil in Unicode charts

This is news to me as well :)

 Just came to know from comment that Lohit Tamil is used in Unicode charts from 7.0 onwards.  I did quick comparison with old Tamil chart and 7.0 and yes that is Lohit !!





Kudos to Shriramana for making this happen with proposal. I remember we were talking about this last year and due to OFL license of Lohit it is easy to use it in Unicode charts without any permission.

This add more responsibility to make sure Lohit Tamil follows and keep glyphs consistent in future version. I am sure with strong community we can achieve it.


 I have been always proposing Unicode for using opensource fonts in there charts. Unicode definitely spending some money to make fonts for these charts, so why not to release these charts under opensource license?


 Presently charts only serve the purpose of reference and even after release of particular version even for single character users need to wait for other fonts to sync with latest Unicode version. If Unicode release latest version of charts with fonts as well, one can just quickly install those fonts. These fonts can be used in all OS due to liberal license, many things can happen...

  Second part that is faced specifically in complex script, is reference for rendering rules. Yeah, this can add additional overhead to Unicode but i strongly feel it can help further to have standardization in complex script rendering.

  Anyway we are already trying for this with Lohit2 project, hopefully  other script fonts project will also start this kind of initiative and in long term font designers will be free from worry of rules for complex script rendering.

  Again glad to see this is happening !!
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Devanagari script behaviour for Hindi" standardization meeting AT Delhi on 10th Sep2014

    DIT is working on this project with CDAC and other stakeholder almost from 2+ years. I am one of the committee member of this working group and making sure it will actually benefit target audience.
We have invested earlier time on what should be the structure of this document and what things must be included in this documents.
    Also we had excellent debate with language scholars on what is valid combination in Hindi language and what is not. How particular combination should get displayed. We made one significant decision saying we will not say anything is invalid, since there is possibility of inclusion of words from other language to Hindi and end use must be able to type it.
    Number of things happened over the time from 1.3.1 version to latest 1.4.4 and finally we are very closer to have final release of this document.

    Highlights of this Draft:
    1. Target audience is ICT stakeholders.
    2. Platform owner interested in supporting particular language in his product will get complete information from locale, sorting, backspace, delete, rendering etc from single document. One can also say this document is simply including standards around Hindi language at one place. Those are Unicode, CLDR and language related standards.
    3. For Hindi draft reference is used from book "देवनागरी लिपि तथा हिंदी वर्तनी का मानकीकरण"  Central Hindi Directorate"


    Yesterday we quickly gone through draft to make sure conjuncts are represented properly in document. Hindi mostly uses half form of base characters unlike complete conjuncts get form in Marathi language.

    Draft is still open [1] for comments and feedback. Once Hindi will get finalized same process will be repeated for other language and all these Draft will get authenticated from BIS as a standards.  For other languages DIT will first prepare draft and in later stage talk with state governments for Feedback. Next one will be Marathi since most of the things are already ready for Marathi languages.

    I hope this will help to community over the time.


1. http://www.tdil-dc.in/index.php?option=com_vertical&parentid=79&lang=en

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]

1. https://www.microsoft.com/typography/OpenTypeDev/tamil/intro.htm#appendix
2. https://github.com/pravins/lohit2/issues/13
3. https://github.com/pravins/lohit2/

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 "Fedora.next.next: 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

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzGEBJLlUIc
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WGL9hFcY_w
3. https://jsmith.fedorapeople.org/Flock2014/

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 Fedora.next" was one of the excellent talk and it was housefull. If anyone still not understood Fedora.Next and want some more food for Advocating Fedora.next 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 :)

1. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQIXiF6fxPCtHw_XwHFq6nA
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBpXpnQKjIs&list=UUQIXiF6fxPCtHw_XwHFq6nA
3. http://t.co/Rpo2Hhgn0k
4. https://t.co/4DqJAcdDKF
5. http://osfw-i18n.rhcloud.com/
6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYtJZBgOrKw&list=UUQIXiF6fxPCtHw_XwHFq6nA
7. http://typingbooster.org/
8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iv2G_u3xKY&list=UUQIXiF6fxPCtHw_XwHFq6nA
9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2O1bMT5a5Y&list=UUQIXiF6fxPCtHw_XwHFq6nA

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 :)



1. http://flocktofedora.com/
2. http://flock2014.sched.org/event/821969dcb62bf1efc76c78f0db6ef44f?iframe=no