bugFree UCS Outline Fonts - Bugs: bug #52334, Questionable glyph for U+0D3D...


bug #52334: Questionable glyph for U+0D3D MALAYALAM SIGN AVAGRAHA

Submitted by:  David Corbett <dscorbett>
Submitted on:  Fri 03 Nov 2017 02:30:59 PM UTC  
Category:  individual character(s) Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  glyph(s) incorrect Status:  Need info
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  Steve White <Stevan_White>
Open/Closed:  Open Release:  development

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Sun 05 Nov 2017 11:47:12 AM UTC, comment #8:

Hi, Nandrakumar,

Well, I prefer the more legible shapes, too. I am just reluctant to alter the original glyphs (from Rachana and Meera) without solid evidence that it is appropriate.

I wouldn't trust a book from 2005, because it is likely to have used a modern computer font -- which are very easy to create, and likewise easy to get wrong. Something from earlier, preferably printed with metal type, would be much more convincing.

Yes, if you could provide images -- a simple (clear and sharp) photo of printed books is ideal.


Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 05 Nov 2017 09:08:19 AM UTC, comment #7:

- It is very difficult to get some samples. For U+0D44, Rachana shows a small and independent n inside the circle, and it's against my memory. Seems the Unicode document goes with what I believe. This should be the shape whenever U+0D44 is used (even with a consonant -- I think David just noticed a bug here).

- To my surprise, a book from 2005, featuring the old-style Malayalam, prints letter vocalic rr exactly like in the Unicode document, having an independent na inside rr.

I am now studying in the University of Calicut, and I may get access to some rich resources if I contact the Malayalam dept. Till then, I think it is safe to go with what is shown in the Unicode document (for rr). After all, it is a rarely used symbol, and can hurt nobody's reading experience.

Nandakumar Edamana <nandakumar>
Project Member
Sun 05 Nov 2017 08:42:59 AM UTC, comment #6:


- OK the crossbar on Avagraha is removed.

- We have the diagonal form shown in the 2012 document of Sharma and the SMC fonts, vs. the Unicode chart http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0D00.pdf.
I'm going with the diagonal form.

- What do you think about the sample of rr-vocalic in the Unicode code chart? As David points out, I followed that in the FreeFont faces. I will go for legibility, if there is any choice.

So beside the self-standing rr-vocalic form, what about its combined form? I have been following the SMC fonts in putting a little n inside an r-vocal bowl. But you point out, at normal text font sizes, this detail is invisible, resulting at best in a darkening of the bowl.

It would be great to have an image of pre-computer printed text with such a letter.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 05 Nov 2017 03:17:56 AM UTC, comment #5:

Although FreeSerif uses that form for the stand-alone U+0D44 MALAYALAM VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC RR glyph, ligatures of consonants with that vowel sign, e.g. ⟨കൄ⟩, use the enclosed na form instead. Is this intentional?

David Corbett <dscorbett>
Sun 05 Nov 2017 02:00:51 AM UTC, comment #4:

I'm a native Malayalam speaker, and these are my comments:

- Better get rid of the crossbar in Avagraha. As David pointed out, the crossbar seems to come from italic f used to approximate avagraha.
- I've no idea about ttta. Better we follow the scans in this document: http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2012/12021-malayalam-ttta-glyph.pdf
- rr (both letter and vowel sign forms) is very rare (even in old texts). I've seen it in some old alphabet charts, where a na shape is present. But unlike what Rachana does, the legs of na merges into the walls of the bowl, making it more identifiable even in small font size.

Nandakumar Edamana <nandakumar>
Project Member
Sat 04 Nov 2017 12:06:41 AM UTC, comment #3:


OK I got rid of the avagraha crossbar. in SVN.
I still need feedback on the other two discrepancies.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 03 Nov 2017 08:51:41 PM UTC, comment #2:

FWIW the latest version of Rachana omits the crossbar.

David Corbett <dscorbett>
Fri 03 Nov 2017 05:39:19 PM UTC, comment #1:

Hi David,

I puzzled over this and several other discrepancies for some time. I don't have a certain answer.

I put the crossbar-avagraha in because that is the form in the source fonts, Rachana and Meera. I looked at several versions of those fonts, they all sport a crossbar (in different versions of those fonts, the angle of the crossbar changes.)

As to the document -- it's interesting that it mentions Rachana, but in the last two versions of Rachana I have (5 and 7), the glyph has a crossbar. (Which appears to have been added to an original bare glyph.)

Other discrepancies:
- The shape of ttta: in Rachana and Meera it has a diagonal.
- The shape of the self-standing vocalic-rr: Rachana shows a nearly-invisible na-shape inside the bowl -- which I just don't like, so I made one more like in the Unicode samples.

I'll ask a native speaker about these things.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 03 Nov 2017 02:30:59 PM UTC, original submission:

The Unicode code chart for Malayalam and many fonts render U+0D3D MALAYALAM SIGN AVAGRAHA without a crossbar, whereas FreeFont renders it with a crossbar. According to http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2005/05309r2-mala-additions.pdf#page=3, the avagraha (called MALAYALAM PRASLESHAM in that document) is sometimes approximated by an italic ⟨f⟩ when the real glyph is unavailable. I conclude that the form without the crossbar is more authentic and suggest that FreeFont omit the crossbar.

David Corbett <dscorbett>


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