Sinhala Unicode and Browser/OS support

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.

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.

Akshar Unicode


This font looks the most broken

DinaminaUniWeb


This has a rustic, old-fashioned feel to it.

KandyUnicode


This font might have been alright had it not been that heavy.

KaputaUnicode


Kaputa is a very clean, clear font without any unnecessary embelishments.

LKLUG


LKLUG is slightly broken, and has issues rendering some combinations. It also has a slightly old-fashioned feel to it.

Malithi Web


Clean, and easy to read.

Potha


Potha is a very nice font, getting the strokes just right, looking elegant, modern and uncluttered.

Iskoola Potha


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 Unicode


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.

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2 thoughts on “Sinhala Unicode and Browser/OS support

  1. Hi there. Since Firefox 3 is now in Sinhala, I thought it was time to port a Windows OpenType font to the Mac, but I am not sure which one to choose. I looked for opinions on which fonts were nice for native speakers (I am English) and could only find yours blog πŸ™‚

    The Mac has a different font rendering engine from Windows, so the fonts look different (thicker/thinner strokes in places, different kerning and leading.

    I have provided the same text for you to compare against here: http://web.nickshanks.com/typography/sinhala/

    Please ignore the fact that the characters are in the wrong order and vowels are generally broken, as that is what I intend to fix once I’ve chosen a font to work on.

    Also, do you know what the redistribution licenses are for these?

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