Monday, November 07, 2011

Freely licensed fonts are ugly, now what!

The #MediaWiki WebFonts extension exists to enable people to read their language. The #Tamil fonts that were initially selected do not deserve the "beauty" prize. Many in the Tamil community are calling for better looking fonts.

The issue is that at the Wikimedia Foundation, we can only use freely licensed fonts. Consequently we are really happy that people are reaching out to the government of Tamil Nadu to make their fonts available under a free license.

At the same time people working hard to get more existing fonts ready under a free license; they are completing the fonts, they are reaching out to the developers of fonts. They are working hard to make the use of Tamil on any digital devices a reality.

In many ways, Wikipedia is a "down stream" user of the technology developed for a language, a script. As there are so many languages we can stimulate developments for instance in our "language support teams". The best results will be when technology, fonts are available under a free license. It will help us support your language and it will help any and all other applications that care to provide the internationalisation and localisation needed to make use of it.
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