Historically, computers weren't designed to display non-English text.
When computers were invented they were used only for calculating numbers, a task for which English was sufficient. As computers are being used more and more by common people for day-to-day stuff a need arose to support scripts from other languages like oriental (Chinese, Japanese, etc.), Middle East (Arabic, etc.), Indic (Malayalam, Hindi, Gujarati, etc.) and others. And people waited for the solution, until one day...
After many messy intermediate solutions people of the world decided there needed to be a single system to write and render (display or print) all the scripts of world. The current system which is being used world wide and has become the defacto standard is called Unicode. There are many methods (Unicode Transformation Formats) used to store Unicode data and UTF-8 is the most common. This allows Unicode to be backwards compatible with ASCII - the system used to store standard English text on virtually all legacy systems. Wikipedia is one of the heaviest users of diverse scripts since it has encyclopedias in numerous languages. It has adopted Unicode (UTF-8) as the "Encoding" for its websites.
There are 2 parts to the setup.
- Having an Unicode Capable Browser
- Having the necessary Fonts installed
As of March 2022, all major browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge etc. support Unicode. Choice of browser should not matter in viewing Malayalam script.
All major Operating systems like Windows, GNU/Linux, Android and iOS have support for Malayalam script. Choice of Operating system will not limit your experience. Mobile Operating systems such as Android and iOS will automatically deal with Malayalam scripts for you. In most cases, you need not have to worry about installation and management of fonts. However, on desktop operating systems, you might need to configure some settings in certain cases in order to view Malayalam script properly.
Mac OS X[തിരുത്തുക]
Apple's Safari may not render the pre-Unicode 5.1 coded (non-atomic) chillaksharangal properly. However, Firefox 3.x renders everything correctly. More details available at MacMalayalam.
- Support should be built-in in newer Windows versions.
- In the event that you find yourself in need of manually configuring fonts, you can do this through Control Panel->fonts.
- The Devanagari font is called Mangal, the Telugu font is called Gautami, the Bengali font is called Vrinda, the Gujarati font is called Shruti, the Gurumukhi font is called Raavi, the Kannada font is called Tunga, and the Malayalam font is called Kartika.
- Install ThoolikaTraditionalUnicode Font, rajana font or AnjaliOldLipi.
All beginner-friendly Linux distributions (Including but not limited to Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Zorin OS) come with Malayalam font support out of the box. However, in case you face issues, here's a list of things you might want to know
- Pango: Pango is a font rendering library that can be used by browsers like Firefox to render Indic text. Pango is in a state of continuous improvement for Indic text rendering right now. If you are having problems with badly rendered scripts (bugs with Matras for example), an outdated Pango version might be to blame.
- Firefox and other Gecko based browsers use either their native renderer or pango to render text. Pango is a better choice for redering Indic scripts but its disabled by default because pango makes the browser slightly slower. If you wish to have Pango enabled by default on Firefox, you have to compile Firefox from source with --enable-pango argument during configuration.
- If you are using a version of Firefox that came with your OS pre-installed, or are using pre-compiled binaries (if you used an app store or a software center to install firefox, this is what you are using), this support can be enabled by various means.
1. Installing a browser extension As of March 2022, there is a Firefox add-on thats render malayalam script within the browser without changes to the system. It is available in the "Add-ons for Firefox" web page.
2. Installing relevant support packs. For instance, on Ubuntu 21.10 running Gnome, typing this into a terminal window and press enter:
sudo apt install language-pack-ml language-pack-gnome-ml fonts-smc-gayathri
This will install Malayalam language support and the Malayalam font "gayathri".
3. Other browsers Konqueror is the default browser in KDE Desktop Environment. It reportedly has much better native indic script support. You may choose to switch to Konquerer in order to get this language support. This however, is an arguably more tedious task than installing language support for whichever Desktop Environment you are using.
To get more information on how to install fonts, go to this page on the Unicode organization's website. http://www.unicode.org/help/display_problems.html
Download Malayalam Fonts from Swathanthra Malayalam Computing Websites http://smc.org.in/fonts
Malayalam Wikipedia has a separate article on the same topic... you will find the content there useful too. http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Welcome%2C_newcomers
Kannada Wikipedia has a seperate article on the same topic... you might find the content there useful too.
Hindi Wikipedia has some extensive guides various Linux distributions other than Ubuntu/Debian here.