Re: Helping with Indic [Re: AbiWord-2.1.0 Released!]

Date: Mon Dec 22 2003 - 06:44:32 EST

  • Next message: T'aZ: "Re: More build problems"

    Hi Ramanan,
               I was hoping Tomas would reply since he is th expert in complex
    text support. But I think he is on holidays now.

    We could really use help in two areas.

    The first is straight forward. Translations of our our strings into Indic
    Languages. This should be straight forward an English/Indic speaker. You
    simply need to edit the *.po files and put in the translated UTF-8 codes.

    The second place we need help is much harder.

    Indic texts do not have a simple relationship between glyph size and
    position. In English, every character has it's own width and are placed
    one after each other seperated by spaces. (Of Course!)

    As I understand it, this is not the case for many Indic languages. For
    them where gplyphs are placed bepends on context of the word being
    constructed. In many cases individual glyphs are over-written and combined
    to make the correct glyph.

    Now abiword has the infrastructure to to do this "glyph shaping". Tomas
    has worked extensively on it for some time. The class that handles this is

    Now every language is different. The many different Indic languages all
    have their needs for glyph shaping. We really don't have the resources to
    solve the problem for all languages ourselves. We can help people hackers.
    Provide resources, provides a good platform them to work on, but all the
    knowledge of how these glyphs are combined requires a hacker who can speak
    and read the language we supporting.

    If you know people who speak Tamil and who would like a free word
    processor that does a good job on their language, please direct them to
    us! We really won't be able to support complex languages with their help.

    As to why we're not in gnome-cvs. Alan has already mostly answered that
    question. In addition to his answers, we have a much nicer development
    environment by running our own servers. We can ssh into the machine and
    tweak things to our hearts content. We can easily maintain our own webpage
    etc, etc.

    pango is really designed for GUI elements. It not suitable for all the
    demands of a WYSIWYG Word Processor.

    I hope this answers your questions and I haven't got something very wrong.
    We would all love to see Indic language support. I hope we can at least
    get Tamil translation for our strings.



    > On Fri, 19 Dec 2003, Ramanan Selvaratnam wrote:
    >> ... how can one (note : I did not say I) be useful with the 'indic'
    >> support that Martin tells me, needs help? What type of help?
    > At a bare minimum run it, type a letter or essay and see if things work
    > all right and if special characters are handled correctly.
    > I vaguely recall that things can be difficult if you dont have all the
    > right fonts. Abiword only uses fonts that it can print properly so that
    > "What you see [onscreen, really] is what you get" when you print it out.
    > Presumabley you have used some indic languages using Gedit, even checking
    > if abiword works as consistantly as it does would be helpful.
    >> Also I understand help is needed with localisig the Gtk2+ interface and
    >> messages. Tell me more.
    > I dont know anything that but I'm hoping my prompt reply will allow you do
    > to something in the meantime. I expect Martin will reply with more detail
    > when the sun rises in Australia.
    > i'm not sure if there is much about Indic in bugzilla but searching the
    > mailing lists archives should also give you ideas. I find a good way to
    > search is to use google and restric it to search only the abisource
    > website and then add the mailing list name and perhaps an additional
    > keyword (indic, tamil, ...) should produce some useful results
    > abiword-dev
    > (On a less busy day I'd try looking for you but I'm all tired out by
    > Christmas shopping)
    >> Whay are you not in the Gnome CVS to benefit from the GTP (where I am
    >> Tamil coordinator ... why so little is localised is a long story)
    > I suppose abiword could set something up to sync its PO files with a
    > repository in Gnome CVS. Historically Abiword was started as a commercial
    > (but open source) venture and it suited them better to have their own
    > systems for most things and it is still very useful, personally I find the
    > Abiword Bugzilla much more managable than Gnome because it is so much more
    > focused and much smaller.
    > To the best of my knowledge the only reason we dont use Gnome CVS is that
    > historically we have not used Gnome CVS and there has not yet been any
    > huge reason or even desire to switch but if there were good reasons and it
    > was worth effort it may well happen.
    >> All the best,
    >> Ramanan, UK
    > Hope that helps
    > Sincerely
    > Alan Horkan

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Mon Dec 22 2003 - 06:44:46 EST