Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Malayalam Rendering in GNU systems: My take - Part 1

There exist some issues regarding the rendering of Unicode Malayalam in GNU systems.Providing support for traditional and reformed scripts is one such issue.The problem compounds with numerous rendering mechanism in use for different toolkits and applications.It is heard that a unified method for rendering is in the offing.That would be a nice thing to happen.

Normally fonts are made either for the traditional script or for the reformed one.The shaping work done by the rendering engine goes haywire when we change from one script to another because the engine does not use the script variance information from the font metadata.So we can have a properly laid out Malayalam text for one script only; not for both.One can not see how uniscribe has solved this issue because it is not open.It even seems that MS doesn't care for Malayalam as there is no script-specific OT spec for it.And again! there is no details available about the version 2 of indic opentype spec used by Vista, yet.

Next, I will put forward my views regarding the OT features which can be used and are appropriate for Malayalam.