Friday, October 26, 2007

MacOSX 10.5 Leopard and Tibetan Fonts

Ok, Leopard is out so we could finally talk about the new features and fixes in this MacOSX release. See this image, it's from the Wikipedia Skandha page. Yes, finally decent default Tibetan Unicode fonts in MacOSX, and they properly stack, too.

I have not tested out all the possible variations yet, but finally MacOSX has good Tibetan font rendering support. That and with Microsoft Vista, we are finally, finally at a point where web sites could include real Tibetan Unicode strings.

I will still use the image approach in this blog, as it will take a while before everyone has the latest versions of the platform OS systems. But from the point of getting decent Tibetan font support, this is the time to upgrade.

... I still remember ten years back in time when it was just a matter of a few years before the platforms would have Tibetan Unicode support...


Evan Osherow said...

Thanks for the post. Can't wait to see it in action (the latest big cat arrives Monday).

nic said...

I'm on a mac now and I definitely have stacking issues. Maybe it is my fault though - it's usually with a subscript and a vowel like this :

བྱྱེད། for byed
འབྲྲི། for 'bri
སྦྱྦྱོང་། for sbyong

it is supposed to be wylie input but maybe I am doing something wrong ... any ideas?

Kent Sandvik said...

Is this on a Leopard (10.5) system? I didn't see such problems when I did my tests - I will do more tests this incoming week, as I have vacation all week.

nic said...

Yeah - it's Leopard 10.5 using the Tibetan Wylie input.

nic said...

Update: The stacking works perfectly in MS Word and TextEdit but not in Safari - so I'll be it is a problem with Safari. Firefox for mac won't even display Tibetan (only "????") - What browsers have other people had success with?

Kent Sandvik said...

Yes, I never tested this with Safari. There's a new version just out, 3.0.4, worth testing with Leopard.

I will upload a snippet of Unicode Tibetan so anyone interested could see if this renders properly or not on their specific OS/browser combination.