Re: [indic] Lack of Complex script rendering support on Android

From: கா. சேது | කා. සේතු | K. Sethu <>
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2011 22:13:11 +0530

Thanks to Phillipe Verdy for a detailed reply to my reply to his
earlier post - I had sent my reply only to Phillipe Verdy and not to
this list, though actually I intended to - (missed due forgetting to
press the "Reply to all" ). My post and his reply are quoted below

As I had told, with the Samsung Galaxy SII (GT-I9100) that I purchased
in Chennai, India 3 weeks back and also the same model a friend
purchased here in Sri Lanka there is no native fonts support for
Tamil or any other South Asian scipts.

Yesterday both of us tried one "Fontomizer SP" available via Android
Market and yes with it we could install couple of Tamil fonts without
having to root. But even with that, the rendering is not correct with
some subset of the characters. Ligatures (for those who know Tamil,
such as the the consonants plus u, U dependent vowels) that are
implemented with GSUB are not working but instead GPOS implementation
with the fall back glyph takes place. Also the so called vowel
reordering steps also fail, not universally but in places where the
concerned diacritic (one of the three "kombus" in Tamil) is to be
visually next on right side to a pure consonant (that is consonant
plus virama) it actually shifts towards left of that.

I had also got to know from friends that with some older models:
Galaxy S (older model than SII) and Galazy Ace when they do firmware
update to 2.3.4 (or 2.3.5) they get fully properly rendering native
support. There are still no firmware update, not requiring rooting,
avaialble for SII which is with 2.3.3.

My friend with SII had earlier rooted & updated to 2.3.5 and used a
fallback indic font from . But the
results were poorer than what we now with fonts installed via

As regards your comment about the Indian reseller not preinstalling
Indic support, the place I purchased is a "Samsung Plaza" - a
franchise type operation I think. The phone came boxed and wrapped -
guess from Samsung India.


2011/11/4 Philippe Verdy <>:
> May be you need to download some fonts. I had to do that because they
> were not preinstalled. There are some font packages available on the
> Android Market. But I think it is strange that an Indian reseller does
> not preinstall the Indic support. I had it (without the fonts) from my
> French reseller (the phone was sponsored by my mobile network and
> featurs a few other specific apps). It runs Android 2.3.2.
> Beside this, I can also render sites using the Adobe Flash plugin
> which renders the Indic texts as well.
> The only modern scripts that are currently not rendered are Tibetan and Lao.
> No problem of course with the rendering of Hangul (Samsung is
> Korean...) which is installed by default, except that its Korean IME
> virtual keyboard does not compose Hangul syllables completely
> correctly (you enter only basic jamos, without differences between
> leading and trailing consonnants, the composition works only by pairs,
> and if you are correcting the text, it does not recompose the
> syllables properly for example if you pressed the wrong vowel or wrong
> trailing consonnant and press the Backspace key immediately to enter a
> new one). Apparently even it only renders Hangul syllables if they are
> precomposed into a single codepoint (so only the modern set is
> supported on output, all the rest remains displayed as individual
> jamos, but even the historic jamos are correctly displayed)
> There are some issues with some Persian-Arabic letters (used in
> Persian and Urdu) and diacritics, so I can see some square boxes. I
> think this is due to the current fonts.
> Anyway, there's an active commnity on the Android developers network
> to create and maintain more free fonts for more scripts and languages
> (on smartphones may be this was not a problem but for tablets and
> ebooks readers, supporting a better typography and more language is
> not an option). I have still not rooted my device to look into it more
> precisely or install a newer Android kernel
> (we can hear about Android 4, but Google needs to convince OEM
> manufacturers and telco resellers to support a larger common base,
> with a standard set of features, to avoid the fragmentation of the OS
> which application developers and users are complaining. Less things in
> the kernel should be protected and supported instead as freely
> installable modules which can be updated more easily. Android (as well
> as Apple iOS and Windows Phone) will become mature OSes when they will
> be more standardized (devices will only be differentiated by the list
> of hardware devices they feature and by some builtin applications but
> should be be differentiated by the OS version they currently support
> and that should be easily upgradable or replaceable)
> 2011/11/4 கா. சேது | කා. සේතු | K. Sethu <>:
>> On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM, Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
>>> [..]
>>> It may depend on the device. The manufacturer can compile Android as
>>> he wants apparently, and suppress/disable some modules. I have no
>>> problem on my Samsung S 2 that displays properly all languages shown
>>> on the home page of Wikimedia Commons for example.
>> My Samsung Galaxy SII (GT-I9100) purchased about 3 weeks back does not
>> render complex scripts I have checked - Tamil, Sinhala, Malayalam and
>> few others. None of them work. I purcahsed it at Chennai, India during
>> a visit and the same is true of in a friend's SII purchased here in
>> Sri Lanka.
>> ~Sethu
Received on Sat Nov 05 2011 - 11:47:58 CDT

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