Tamil language support in Windows? You can't SHRII-k yet, but it's getting better

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/10/13 11:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/10/13/8998075.aspx

So back in Unicode 4.1, Unicode added(U+0bb6, aka TAMIL LETTER SHA).

Then there was a {ahem} brief delay, after which Vista shipped.

For the record, the Latha font was updated prior to ship.

ஶ (U+0bb6, aka TAMIL LETTER SHA).

Two points for Microsoft Typography!

Originally I thought that was the point of this blog. Pointing this fact out.

Though this does require one to have >= Vista.

In the words of someone with the nickname shrii on the Microsoft VOLT User's Community:

...I did figure out that ETTamilNew font works fine for sha on XP as also e-tamil OT font - see http://sanskritintamilunicode.blogspot.com/2008/09/which-font-to-choose.html

I also checked the font version on my Vista machine and found out that the versons are different - http://sanskritintamilunicode.blogspot.com/2008/09/on-vista-you-can-use.html

Microsoft marketing people may not agree, but I would strongly suggest that updated versions of indic fonts, uniscribe and richedit, if required, should be made available freely with IE updates so that the Indic script webpages display correctly.

While I agree that it would be nice for everyone to upgrade to Vista or newer OSes, a large proportion of users in India are on older versions of windows and don't/can't update the PC hardware/software as often as users in US.

People would expect that if they download IE8, it would display Indic scripts display correctly, regardless of the platform they are on. If it doesn't but the competition does, then they will switch.

my 2cents :-)

Now this is the argument that Office uses to include updated fonts based on the latest version of Windows, and also the argument they use to carry their own locale support to use on those platforms that do not yet contain the newest locales they support.

So Microsoft does find that argument to be convincing in some cases. :-)

I then thought that might have been the point of this blog.

Unfortunately, the other relevant piece of this is something I described in The fonts are no charge, but the OS they are in has to cost something -- the fact that in many cases, support does come at some price (a pretty small price, all things considered; but a non-zero price).

Perhaps the point of this blog was somewhere in there?

But then if you look at the keyboard included in Vista and at the four conjuncts included in it:

You will notice (after looking at these four images and the rest of the keyboard) that:

I realized that any one of those bullet points might also be the point of the blog.

Then I thought about this whole issue with the keyboard missing the character that was added to Unicode in large part to better represent the SHRII and I realized that the NLS folks had a bug to solve, one way or another. In Vista it is included in the sort so you have no problem using it since it has weight, and it is in font so you have no problem seeing it, but you can't get it there in the first place....

And I decided that was the point of this blog. :-)


This blog brought to you by (U+0bb6, aka TAMIL LETTER SHA)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 13 Oct 2008 11:05 AM:

Does it make you want to ஶ்ரீக? :-)

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referenced by

2010/05/09 I can't actually see Chennai (or any other city in Tamil Nadu) from *my* house....so let's talk LIPs!

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