[fosscomm] e-governance standards: Unicode and Font

Santhosh Thottingal santhosh.thottingal at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 03:37:57 PDT 2009

>From the minutes of the meeting that Jaijit provided ,  there were
discussions about Unicode 5.1 and Sakalbharathi as reference font.
Any decisions on these require representation from FOSS Community.

a) Regarding Unicode 5.1, there are serious technical bugs in the
standard which practically split Malayalam language to two categories
without compatibility definition. The 5.1 standard fails to keep
backward compatibility to 5.0 and violates unicode stability polcies.
We, SMC had informed the concerns to Unicode Technical consortium and
had decided not to implement the new changes in Free desktops and
libraries till the bugs get resolved. So before Gov decides to go with
5.1 standard there should be consultation with developer community who
maintains/develops the application for Free Operating
systems(upstreams for distros).

b) The Sakalbharathi font is supposed to be a reference font  as per
the minutes of the meeting. But please look at the license of the font
It is a proprietory font and source is not available. How it can be
used for reference purpose then?  And the decision is again taken/or
going to take without any consultation with FOSS developer community
who developes/maintains  Indic fonts for Free Desktops. I can confirm
that the sakal bharathi font's current version  is not usable for
Malayalam and breaks all  rendering and typography standards that
community follows. We dont know whom to contact to report bugs and the
people who developed or endorsing it as standard font never asked the
comments from FOSS developer community.


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