Malayalam computer

Malayalam Blogging

Welcome to the first guest post on this blog. This post was written by pR@tz , from “ A World of My Own” . He has a Malayalam blog too. pR@tz is a MS Scholar at IIT Madras. Welcome and thanks pR@tz !!

Update

If you want to use Google Chrome to type in Malayalam, to any website, here is an easy solution. It helps you install a bookmarklet, and start typing in Malayalam

How to read Malayalam on your computer

The Malayalam computing gained popularity with the evolution of UNICODE. Swathanthra Malayalam Computing is one of the independent organizations, actively working for the development of softwares and fonts for Malayalam computing. Before the UNICODE, it was the ASCII fonts, which were used to display Malayalam characters and is still (unfortunately) used by websites like Malayala Manorama, Kerala Kaumudi, Deshabhimani, and puzha.com.

The disadvantages of ASCII font

(1) You need to install separate fonts for different sites.

(2) Its not PURE Malayalam font, but like putting Malayalam mask over Latin characters.

(3) Searching, indexing and other Malayalam computing options are not possible with ASCII fonts.

Try copy pasting Malayalam text from the above mentioned ASCII sites and try the same from Mathrubhumi site (which is using UNICODE ) and you will understand the difference. Also try Googling with the text you copied from Mathrubhumi.

Now, let see how to make your computer Malayalam-literate,

Step 1 – Assuming that you are using windows, download a decent Malayalam UNICODE font. I suggest you Anjali Old Lipi. The best Malayalam UNICODE font I have ever seen is Meera, but unfortunately, the size of Meera font is much smaller in Windows users, but renders perfectly in GNU/Linux.

If you are using GNU/Linux, download this font package.

Step 2 - You have downloaded the fonts, which will usually be in ZIP format. Uncompress it.

For Windows users, copy it to x:/windows/fonts , if x:/ is the drive where Windows is installed .

For GNU/Linux users refer this if you are using GNOME and this if you are using KDE to install fonts.

A restart of system or xserver is recommended in Windows and GNU/Linux respectively.

Step 3 – If you are using Windows XP, goto Control Panel —> Regional Settings –> Support for complex scripts (enable it and click apply). Keep Windows XP Service Pack 2 in handy, you NEED it.

Windows Vista doesn’t require this.

GNU/Linux users download and apply this patch (Please report if the link is broken, they are very active in development).

If you are using a Debain based distro you can download and install the deb package without going through all these steps.

With the support for complex scripts in Windows you can create filenames in Malayalam, really kewl, isn’t it? You can even chat (in gtalk), mail in Malayalam. We will go into those section later, right now we will fine tune your browser to read Malayalam.

If you are using Internet Explorer, goto Internet Options –> Fonts, select Malayalam from drop down menu, select AnjaliOldLipi or the font you have downloaded.

Malayalam rendering was poor in Firefox versions prior to version 3, hence I recommend you to use version 3 or later. In Firefox 3, goto preferences –> Select the contents tab –> Fonts (Advanced) –> Select Malayalam in “Fonts for” drop down menu –> Set “Serif” for the first option and {your favorite font} for the remaining options. Click OK and apply.

If you are able to read the following without any trouble, then “YOU DID IT”

“എന്റെ കമ്പ്യൂട്ടറില്‍ കാര്‍ക്കോടകനോ മരമാക്രിയോ ഇല്ല”

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Read more about Malayalam blogging here