After my last two posts on the Sinhala iGoogle keyboard gadget and searching for Sinhala Unicode, I had a few questions on what Sinhala Unicode would look like, seeing that one needs to have a Sinhala Unicode font installed for it to render properly.
Each operating system seems to need a different number of steps to enable proper rendering.
- Windows XP: you need to install the Sinhala for Internet Explorer 6 patch to get IE working correctly. If you’re using Firefox, you should install the Firefox version supporting complex layout and right-to-left capability, to be able to view Sinhala correctly.
Screenshot: Firefox on XP (broken)
Screenshot: IE6.0 in XP (broken)
Screenshot: IE6.0 in XP with Sinhala Patch (working)
- Windows Vista: this should work out of the box.
Screenshot: Firefox on Vista (working)
Screenshot: IE7.0 in Vista (working)
- Linux: follow these instructions to enable correct rendering in Firefox. Konqueror seems to get slightly confused, rendering some of the text correctly, but having problems with certain fonts.
Here’s the way my name should look:
And here’s my name, as rendered incorrectly in most configurations:
Both LKLUG and Akshar Unicode have problems rendering the text, even in configurations where other fonts are able to do so fine.
This font looks the most broken
This has a rustic, old-fashioned feel to it.
This font might have been alright had it not been that heavy.
Kaputa is a very clean, clear font without any unnecessary embelishments.
LKLUG is slightly broken, and has issues rendering some combinations. It also has a slightly old-fashioned feel to it.
Clean, and easy to read.
Potha is a very nice font, getting the strokes just right, looking elegant, modern and uncluttered.
So it comes as no surprise that Potha seems to have been cleaned up and included in Windows Vista by default, named Iskoola Potha. This font has the honour of being the best-looking Sinhalese Unicode font.
Sarasavi came in as the second best Sinhalese font. The strokes on this font were a bit too heavy, making it more difficult to read, with some of the strokes being exaggerated.