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RE: After Access – Challenges Facing Mobile-OnlyInternet Users in the Developing World

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 15:33:59 +0100
To: "'Prabhas Pokharel'" <prabhas@mobileactive.org>, "'Slim Amamou'" <slim@alixsys.com>
Cc: "'Shwetank Dixit'" <shwetankd@opera.com>, "'Prashanth'" <prashanth@akmin.com>, "'Stephane Boyera'" <boyera@w3.org>, <public-mw4d@w3.org>
Message-ID: <025601cb33e2$13da2500$3b8e6f00$@org>


Your test for font linking is likely to produce unexpected results, since most browsers will fall back to the default font for Devanagari if the font download doesn't work. The same default font you are relying on for the devanagari text below.  (And by the way, this is nothing to do with HTML5, it is CSS that provides the support for font downloads.)


You can find some tests for the various forms of font download at http://www.w3.org/International/tests/tests-html-css/list-fonts


There is also a summary of results for those tests on recent browsers at http://www.w3.org/International/tests/tests-html-css/tests-webfonts/results-webfonts


Hope that helps,



PS: I will try to shed some light on other aspects of this thread in a short while.


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)



From: public-mw4d-request@w3.org [mailto:public-mw4d-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Prabhas Pokharel
Sent: 08 July 2010 13:55
To: Slim Amamou
Cc: Shwetank Dixit; Prashanth; Stephane Boyera; public-mw4d@w3.org
Subject: Re: After Access – Challenges Facing Mobile-OnlyInternet Users in the Developing World



Thanks for that tip.

I put up a quick demo of HTML5 devanagari font support at http://prabhasp.com/devanagari.html

Its not very tricky at all, if you look at the source, it should be pretty simple to figure out.

Turns out the HTML5-font support is not perfect, however. The first line is HTML5-embedded font, and the second line is non-embedded (should use the font on your computer; works fine on my laptop). The complex letter ??? is not rendered properly in the HTML5 embed (despite being fine when firefox renders it using the same font).

--prabhas pokharel

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 10:23 AM, Slim Amamou <slim@alixsys.com> wrote:

Fonts problem is already appropriately solved in HTML5. All major browsers accept TrueType and OpenType fonts in their last releases. My Android phone (samsung galaxy spica) has a stripped down browser, but I expect Nexus one to handle it correctly already. 

You can try it here : http://alixsys.com (white on black titles should display in a stencil font)

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 3:07 PM, Prabhas Pokharel <prabhas@mobileactive.org> wrote:


I got super excited when I heard that, but I just tried browsing those sites on Opera Mini 5 beta on my Android phone (Nexus One, running Froyo, bought in the US), and the unicode fonts at aajtak.com (or a few other sites I tried) don't display properly. If it will after configuration, that could be huge!

Let me know,


On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 6:16 AM, Shwetank Dixit <shwetankd@opera.com> wrote:

This has at least *partly* have to do with the way developers include fonts in web pages. If the page uses Unicode, then at least in Opera Mini and Mobile (and most probably, most other major mobile browsers), there shouldn't be a problem (for example, aajtak.com uses unicode to display hindi fonts, works fine)

However, many people use .EOT fonts to display regional indian language text in web pages. The problem with that is that .EOT fonts only work with Internet Explorer, and thus can't be displayed properly even by other desktop browsers, let alone mobile ones.

Prashant: I don't know whether the local indian language fonts on mobisitegalore use unicode or not. If it does, and it still doesn't display properly on Opera Mini/mobile, then please let me know off-list, and I'll investigate the issue further.

On Tue, 06 Jul 2010 15:20:27 +0530, Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org> wrote:

Hi Prashanth,

This is a very good point. I believe that there is not much attention from the I18N community on the support of languages in mobile browser. This is something that i've on my agenda. As a first step i discussed recently with a colleague and we will develop a doc around the key elements to deliver content in a specific languages.


Le 06/07/2010 04:42, Prashanth a écrit :

Dear Stephane,

As far as India is concerned the biggest issue is rendering of local
language fonts in the mobile browsers. Note that I am not even pointing
to user having to key in text in local languages, but very unfortunately
the Indian fonts do not even get displayed in the mobile browser.
Today we have over 80,000 mobile websites created using our tool
www.mobisitegalore.com and over 50% come from India, but there is no way
that they can created a mobile website in Hindi or Tamil because the
fonts would just not render in the mobile browser.
This is an important missing link as most people in India cannot read

Warm regards

On 05-Jul-2010 5:17 PM, Stephane Boyera wrote:

Dear All,
i want to share with you a very good paper from S. Gitau, J. Donner
and G. Marsden.
The paper is attached
References are:
Gitau, Shikoh, Marsden, Gary, & Donner, Jonathan. (2010). After access
- Challenges facing mobile-only internet users in the developing
world. Proceedings of the 28th international conference on human
factors in computing systems (CHI 2010) (pp. 2603-2606). New York: ACM.

One of the first papers i see focusing on the barriers of using mobile
web in developing countries by people without PC access and experience.
Some good suggestions for operators and other players.





Shwetank Dixit
Web Evangelist,
Site Compatibility / Developer Relations / Consumer Products Group
Member - W3C Mobile Web for Social Development (MW4D) Group
Member - Web Standards Project (WaSP) - International Liaison Group
Opera Software - www.opera.com

Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/


Prabhas Pokharel

+1 347 948 7654
skype/twitter: prabhasp

http://mobileactive.org -- A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact.


Slim Amamou | سليم عمامو


Prabhas Pokharel

+1 347 948 7654
skype/twitter: prabhasp

http://mobileactive.org -- A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact.

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