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

From: Siji Sunny <>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 16:38:47 +0530

On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 11:45 PM, Mahesh T. Pai <> wrote:

> Shriramana Sharma said on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 01:33:28PM +0530,:
> > Are they custom-coding support for just these three scripts? What's
> > the big deal?
> AFAICT, such piecemeal support is based on Unicode.
> > By just plugging in HB they can get hey presto support for all
> > Indic scripts that HB supports
> Obviously, the applications should use HB for rendering. If apps do
> use HB, then, whatever HB's capabilities could be used by
> applications. Of course, with limitations, if any, based on
> application, library, etc.
> > as and when HB supports them. With the modular nature of libraries
> > (as I understand it) hopefully it would be possible for HB to be
> > updated on its own (like on desktop systems) without needing for
> > the
> Obviously, yes. But, dependency issues ... A generalised answer is not
> quite possible.
Here some updates on Android Indic Support :

Initially I have experimented with Samsung Galaxy(froyo) fit without
rooting and it's having the support for Hindi in browser and even in
applications too.But other indic languages are displaying as square boxes.
Then I rooted the device and while exploring in the font path, realised
that only Hindi font is there (DroidHindi.ttf).So I have replaced the
DroidHindi with a Tamil Unicode font and browser and sample application
with Tamil text (Menu's Buttons etc) rendered properly.
But while tried with Malayalam it's failed to do the character level
reordering.So assumes character level reordering algorithm is not
implemented for malayalam and may be for some other languages.

Since the source code of samsung android built is not available , am in the
process of building ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) on my Pandaboard ,for the
further experiments.Will soon update you the result.

> As I said earlier, Android uses HB, ICU and skia. (ok; had not
> mentioned skia earlier).
> It appears that indic (as a group, or selected scripts only) support
> needs to be turned on at compile time - at least that is how it used
> to be for pango + firefox combination on Debian several years back. We
> (the Indic user community) had to go through some hops to force the
> debian team to keep Indic rendering enabled by default.
> I guess something like this is happening in Android too.
> --
> Mahesh T. Pai ||
> ``Those willing to give up a little liberty for a
> little security deserve neither security nor liberty''

Siji Sunny
Received on Sat Nov 26 2011 - 05:18:19 CST

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