Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Noto Bad, Noto Good. Just okay.


I just saw that the Google code project "Noto" font for world's scripts has been made available - Tagalog/Baybayin, Buhid, Tagbanwa, and Hanunoo are included in the Noto Sans font lineup: http://www.google.com/get/noto/

As they are right now, when I tested the font (Noto Sans), the Philippine scripts are still mostly useless;  a big chunk of the Surat Mangyan scripts are not mapped (incorrect character shapes plus Unicode still does not have the range for the various proper kudlit markers) and the updated RA are not included. The kudlits and virama still doesn't stack or render correctly, the baybayin characters are a mix of styles and not uniform, the whole collection does not really visually "harmonize" well. And unless you specifically chose Noto Sans as your default browser or mobile font, it still won't show or show properly (in other non Google/Chrome browsers). Also, you still need a custom keyboard layout to type Baybayin.

The project team are still ironing out some issues with the other language's scripts. I'll wait and see how they resolve those issues as well. It's still a little early to tell if the Noto project will be helpful to Baybayin scripts or not. Kulitan is still not included in Unicode. And Noto got most of its language data & sample texts are from the Unicode CLDR project.

The best thing to come out of it is that Chromebook laptops and Google tablets will have baybayin Noto fonts bundled with it. I guess it's a big step for Google fonts, but it's still barely a crawl for Baybayin fonts. We'll take what we can. Baby steps till we get there. :)

Moving on...
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