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Re: [Lohit-devel-list] Releasing Lohit Devanagari Today!!

On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 03:16:07AM +0530, Rahul Bhalerao wrote:
> 2010/1/29 प्रविण सातपुते <pravin d s gmail com>
> >      presently we have Marathi, Hindi, Nepali, Maitreya, kashmiri (Dev),
> > Sindhi (Dev) Devanagari script base fonts, and all are same, there was plan
> > to add/modify respective font as per each language requirement but having a
> > super set is no problem and we are following that presently
> >     But somehow while discussing more on it, i found it we can use only
> > Devanagari font for all without affecting any language other requirement,
> > and also it will be better for development and maintenance as well.
> >     In future if we found that two language with same script, requires
> > different representation of same characters either we can use <LANG> tag of
> > Open Type or We can split font that time as per requirement
> >     so to the best of my knowledge there is no problem in using same
> > Devanagari script covering all Unicode characters for all languages using
> > Devanagari script.
> >     comment/suggestions are welcome
> >
> Before doing that, would you please check if <LANG> tag can be successfully
> used to distinguish between Marathi and Hindi 'La (ल)', Marathi and Hindi
> digit '8' on Gnome/KDE. Similarly there would be variations for some Nepali
> and Kashmiri characters. If possible this would also help solving problems
> related to traditional and typewriter script of Malayalam.
Thanks to a nice coincidence I'm working on the same thing as you for a
few days (same problem, same example, same font!). I was discussing this
on fuel-discuss mailing list. See
I'm a newbie at building fonts, so forgive me if some of my statements
are wrong or plain obviousness. There's such a lack of contributors to
Indic languages support on computers that I believed I can bring some

Here are the important facts. I was able to make Lohit Hindi use the
Hindi La for Hindi language and Marathi La for Marathi for some apps.
I modified Lohit-Hindi doing the following things in FontForge :
* Element->Font Info...->Lookups
* Add Lookup :
    Type : Single Substitution
    Feature : local (Localized Forms)
    Script(s) & Language(s) : deva{MAR}
    Lookup Name : Marathi L
* Bottom
* Add Subtable :
    Name : Marathi L subtable
    Base Glyph Name : u0932
    Replacement Glyph Name : glyph247
Attached to this e-mail is a quick patch to Lohit-Hindi.sfd resulting of
the above modifications.

It works in Pango, which makes me think it's the right way, or at least
not totally the wrong one. I tested it with the pango-view program using
the following commands ("Lohit Bernard" is the name of my modified
version) :
LC_ALL=hi_IN pango-view --font="Lohit Bernard" --text "पहला पन्ना"
LC_ALL=mr_IN pango-view --font="Lohit Bernard" --text "पहला पन्ना"
The Virtaal translation program also happened to be a nice program to
test on-the-fly language changes in Pango.
I guess all GTK programs work the same way as they use Pango.
As you can see the use of a specific language somewhere in the font
seems to have an impact on some other lookups, especially ligatures.
Maybe we have to declare languages variants at several places to have it
working fine. Not tested much yet.

Firefox is able to use Marathi La when running in mr_IN locale.
However it doesn't use the "lang" HTML attribute the expected way.
Probably needs to be patched.

OpenOffice.org isn't able to use Marathi La, even in mr_IN locale. It
needs to be patched. I believe using the "language" character setting
would the natural way to make it use language font variants.
I don't know if ICU has to be patched first as well. I haven't tested it
independantly yet.

I'm not able to have Qt using 'locl' lookups.

So it seems there's a lot of remaining work (including modifying
existing fonts!) but it's encouraging. By the way, do you know
equivalents to pango-view for Qt and ICU?

Bernard Massot
> Lookup: 1 0 0 "Marathi L"  {"Marathi L subtable"  } ['locl' ('deva' <'MAR ' > ) ]
> Substitution2: "Marathi L subtable" glyph247

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