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RE: question

From: Michael Jansson <mjan@em2-solutions.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 10:25:49 +0200
Message-ID: <CFDB95B7A60B714698C8E065A0759B0D1B39@gateway.em2-solutions.com>
To: "'Salih Karadayi'" <salihkaradayi@superonline.com>, www-international@w3.org
Hi Salih,
 
There are several issues involved in hosting a multilingual web site. Some
of them are:
 
1 - Which fonts to use: Clever platforms will avoid this issue altogether.
The platform would know which fonts is suitable for what language, so there
would be no need explicitly specify which font to use with what
text/language. I'm using the term "platform" loosely here. Examples are most
operating systems, web browsers and i18n savvy web servers. 
 
2 - Where to find fonts to use: Most platforms already include needed fonts.
I believe that Windows/Office, OS X, Solaris, Linux/XFree86 include enough
fonts to support the languages you mention below. There are also both
commercial and free fonts that can be acquired. Be careful about how you use
fonts though:
   * Scalable fonts contains instructions that are executed by the OS. Any
errors (intentional or otherwise) may cause the hosting platform that shows
the web content to crash. For example, it is quite common for some versions
of Windows, XFree86 and MacOS to become unstable after installing a bad
font.
   * It takes a lot of time and skill to develop fonts. Don't use commercial
fonts unless you have a valid end user license agreement. Also, make sure
that the license permits the font to be used in a non-personal context (e.g.
either distributed or used on a web server).
 
3 - How to use the fonts: This is probably the most tricky part. Some
browsers and OS's may not be able to show some languages, either because the
needed fonts is not available on their platform or because the language can
not be rendered there.  Bi-directional text (text written from right to left
and left to right) may in particular not show correctly in all brands of
browsers (typically older versions) or may not be drawn correctly (correct
ligatures may not be shown on less language savvy OS's). There is thus two
sub problems; how to make the needed fonts available to the web browser and
how to render text correctly with that font in the web browser.
 
3.1 - How to deploy the needed font: There are at least three popular
approaches. First approach is to not deploy any fonts at all, i.e. to only
use fonts that are already available to all users. This approach would
prevent your web pages from being legible to some web surfers though. For
example, you could limit yourself to only support users on WindowsXp using
IE 6. This is the easiest approach (no work involved) but excludes most web
users. Second approach would be to use web fonts and/or convert text into
graphics (you still need the font to create the images). The CSS standard
defines a mechanism in which a web browser can download (portions) of a font
along with a web page to show that page correctly. Doing so involves using
tools like WEFT. A third approach is to make the needed fonts available for
download from your site. Requiring web users to download and install
software/fonts on their system may be error prone and slow (a large font can
be 1-44MB+).
 
3.2 - How to render text correctly: You may find it very hard to get Arabic
to show correctly on a non-Arabic Win98 and other platforms without bidi
support. If a web surfer uses a platform without support for a particular
language then there may not be much you can do, even if you managed to
install the needed font on that platform. There are various tricks that you
can do though (use hack encoding, convert text to images, etc). You would
need a third party tool to do such a thing. Doing that would ensure that the
page is legible, but may prevent the text on web pages from being searchable
and indexed. Considering the alternative (not seeing any text at all), this
may be an acceptable loss. You want to make sure that pages are distorted
with images or hack-encoding *only* in cases where there are no other
options though. For example, this should not be done to IE users on WinXp
just to serve IE users on Win98. 
 
You will find more information about web fonts at:
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/fonts.html#x40
<http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/fonts.html#x40> 
http://groups.msn.com/MicrosoftWEFTuserscommunity/_homepage.msnw?pgmarket=en
-us
<http://groups.msn.com/MicrosoftWEFTuserscommunity/_homepage.msnw?pgmarket=e
n-us>  
 
A list of Unicode enabled product that you might be able to use is available
at:
http://www.unicode.org/onlinedat/products.html
<http://www.unicode.org/onlinedat/products.html> 
 
Our own font and i18n capable web server might be worth considering as well:
http://www.glyphgate.com <http://www.glyphgate.com> 
 
To find suitable fonts, search the web (e.g. use Google). 
 
 
Regards,
em2 Solutions
Michael Jansson
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Salih Karadayi [mailto:salihkaradayi@superonline.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2003 12:08 AM
To: www-international@w3.org
Subject: question



Hi,
 
I want to know about fonts, international standard fonts. For example how
can I show Arabic or Russian fonts everybody in internet succesfully. I want
to set up a multilanguage web site. This site contains Latin, Arabic and
Crylic. These languages are: Arabic, Azeri, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Deutsch,
English, Espanol, FranÁ°©s, Persian, Shqip, Turkmen, T?(Turkish), Urdu, Uzbek.
How can I show all these languages succesfully. I don't know all iso codes
of these languages and also language codes (exm. Turkish=TR but Urdu ???)
and standard fonts. For example can I use "Traditional Arabic" in Arabic
languages. ect. Please help me immediately. Sincerely,
 
Salih Karadayi
Received on Wednesday, 9 July 2003 04:26:24 GMT

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