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Ready for the WebFonts launch

After months of preparation, demonstrating the latest versions in person and on-line, going through tons of feedback and implement resulting modifications, we are ready for the launch of Webfonts. Web fonts is a technology that ensures us that the readers of our wikis will always see the intended characters on their screen. Many devices do not provide the necessary fonts that allow people to read their mother tongue.

When people do not even see what we aim to provide to them, we fail. According to the Wikipedia article, web fonts are considered “controversial” because the licenses of many fonts prevent them from being used as web fonts. There is no such controversy when freely licensed fonts are used and we are really happy with our collaboration with the producers of such fonts.  We learned that fonts working on one platform do not necessarily work as well on another platform / operating system.

Enabling people to read and enabling people to write their language is at this time our prime objective and, when people are happy when they find they can as they did at the localisation sprint in Pune. Being able to type Marathi or Punjabi, Hindi or Tamil on a thin client put a smile on many faces. They used the latest software at translatewiki.net and  the feedback we got from them and others has resulted in many technical and usability improvements.

The launch of WebFonts together with the Narayam improvements on Monday 12 December represents significant progress in helping enable Indic language contributions to our projects; it consists of a large amount of code, it will be implemented on a selected range of wikis and it affects many communities. It will affect them and the Wikis in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telegu.  All these communities have been involved it testing the evolving functionality at translatewiki and the comments and bug reports we received were essential for what we are now proud to present. With the launch more people will experience the WebFonts technology for the first time. We are eager to improve on what we have because we believe that the web fonts technology is crucial for the emancipation of many languages and scripts in this digital age..

Thanks,

Gerard Meijssen

Internationalization / Localization outreach consultant

3 Responses to “Ready for the WebFonts launch”

  1. GerardM says:

    We are quite happy to support historical writing systems. If there is a quality font that is freely licensed, we are quite happy to support it. Thanks, Gerard

  2. Are there planned support for historical writing systems? Like runes, cuneiform, ogham, etc.

  3. Tried out on http://te.wikipedia.org using Firefox 6.0 on Ubuntu 10.04. Only the skin is changing to the selected font and not the content. In the Firefox preferences, I already set the option to allow webpages to choose their own fonts. Am I missing something?

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