Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A #font for people with #dyslexia III

Yesterday I met a teacher. I also met someone who was a counselor in Mali. She was really enthusiastic about the news that there is a freely licensed font that works especially well for people who suffer from dyslexia.

Today I received a mail where I was told that the availability of the Open-Dyslexic font will be the basis of a possible project in Mali.

A #font for people with #dyslexia II

The good news is: the Open-Dyslexic font will be part of the initial roll out of the "universal language selector". The font is already available for some 25 languages on Wikidata and where the "universal language selector" is already deployed. These languages are listed below.
  • en - English,
  • af - Afrikaans
  • ca - Catalan
  • cy - Welsh
  • da - Danish
  • de - German
  • es - Spanish
  • et - Estonian
  • fi - Finnish
  • fo - Faerours
  • fr - French
  • ga - Irish
  • gd - Scottish Gaelic
  • hu - Hungarian
  • is - Icelandic
  • it - Italian
  • lb - Luxembourgisch
  • mi - Maori
  • ms - Malay
  • oc - Occitan
  • pt - Portuguese
  • sq - Albanian
  • sv - Swedish
  • sw - Swahili
  • tr - Turkish
  • wa - Walonian
Many languages are missing in the list. For me the lack of nl - Dutch is obvious. But I do not have to break a sweat to come up with languages like sr-Latn id tl li gl fy sl. Languages like Indonesian or Tagalog are spoken by hundreds of millions of people. 

When you consider that languages with special characters like Icelandic and French are in this list it is obvious that many more languages are already supported by this font. When you consider that the WMF has good relations with the creator of the font it is more than likely that missing characters for your language can be added  to the font.

So check out first if all the characters used in your language are supported by the Open-Dyslexic font. If it is, ask for it to be enabled either by making the request on the support page of or by requesting them on bugzilla. You can also send a mail with this happy news to all the teachers you know. When it is not, identify the missing characters and, ask nicely for them to be added.

Open Source is such a wonderful enabler. Consider; not only is this font available to all the teachers and the sufferers of dyslexia, it is also available for use on websites like Wikipedia. Given that our aim is to share in the sum of all knowledge this is an important step in the right direction.

A #font for people with #dyslexia

Today I was able to make some difference. I met a teacher who is specialised in children with "special needs". The conversation got onto the subject of language technology and I mentioned the existence of the Open-Dyslexic font.

She was so happy to learn about the existence of this font. She asked me to send details today so that she can install the font on her pc tomorrow. This week she is going to meet some thirty persons who will be happy to learn about the existence of this freely licensed font as well. A lot of children are going to benefit.

I cannot wait for the Wikimedia Foundation to make the Open-Dyslexic font available for use on its wikis. It will affect so many more people. It is likely to be mentioned in the international press; it is that relevant.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tagging #British paintings in public ownership

Another great British initiative: adding tags to the entire national collection of oil paintings in public ownership in the United Kingdom. What makes this project relevant is the huge number of volunteers collaborating on this.

The Public Catalogue Foundation has something to say about copyright. Sadly they are wrong. They say:
Is there copyright in the photographic image as well as copyright in the actual painting?
Yes, there is. The photographer uses training and skill to photograph a painting and he or she holds copyright in that photographic image. However, as part of its agreement with collections, the PCF agrees that its photographers will hand over copyright in all their photographic images for collections’ own use.

There is a word for this point of view: copyfraud. When this point of view is typically British, it is just that.

The PCF may claim copyright on the tags added to the paintings. There is no mention about this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

#Wikivoyage pictures; the fun of being there

The coin dropped for me. Once Wikivoyage is a running Wikimedia project, it is about travelling, going on a holiday, seeing the sites. All these articles need their illustrations. I think that this is to be expected. It is obvious to me what kind of pictures they can be.

Many of them will be holiday pictures and, there is nothing wrong with that. These pictures will have a use, they illustrate Wikivoyage.

What I like about it is that they broaden the horizon of Commons and hopefully inject Commons with many more fun images.

The Commons challenge will only become more relevant; what will it take to make it the wiki where everyone can easily find a great and appropriate media file.