Saturday, March 03, 2012

Supporting a #font for #Arabic II

In January I wrote about the Amiri font. I wrote that it should be easy to support it in the MediaWiki WebFonts extension. This turned out to be not correct. One of the older more intractable bugs, one where Niklas prefers Brion to be involved in working on a solution, is preventing its use.

The Amiri font is as beautiful as ever and, we have implemented it in as an experiment because the latest developments in the browsers' Unicode compliance is improving the rendering substantially. An Arabic text showing the Amiri font can be found here and the source looks like this:
<div lang="arb" class="mw-content-rtl" style="font-size: xx-large">
* بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
* حررد مييسن
* مُحَمَّد‎
the Amiri font with the Firefox nightly build
Do note that in this example we use the ISO-639-3 arb code and not the ISO-639-1 ar code.

When you look at it with the nightly Firefox build it looks good. With production browsers the quality is still lacking. A MediaWiki solution will not only make a difference for the Amiri font, it will also make a difference for the Arabic font provided with Windows XP. Such a solution requires expertise in the inner workings of the MediaWiki parser and Unicode.
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