User talk:Stephen G. Brown/Experimental templates

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Experimental templates to fix problems with Arabic and Thai scripts being too small[edit]

Hi Stephen. I've been thinking about various script problems lately and the IPA and Cyrillic issues have given me some ideas. Please look at Talk:جدا. Also check out my custom CSS page User:Hippietrail/monobook.css to see how you can make those fonts look however big (or whatever else) you like. I think this may be a very good solution and can probably be extended to help with other problems. Please let me know what you think. — Hippietrail 15:08, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hi again Stephen. I've been playing with CSS (as well as Javascript) for a few weeks now and I've got the hang of it a bit. For users to customize the size of the fonts they see for Thai and Arabic, they need to make use of the CSS !important keyword like this:
.AR { font-size: 200% !important; }
That way everybody can set the fonts to whatever size they prefer and all we have to do is use the {{ARchar}} and {{THchar}} macros. Thanks for trying out my work! — Hippietrail 27 June 2005 11:40 (UTC)
It works pretty well for the Arabic and Thai, but I’ve discovered that the font we’re using is no good for Persian. It breaks the Persian "e": Template:ARchar (should be: تیلفون). I haven’t found the time to see which fonts in the standard Windows set will work for Persian. I don’t want to select one of my dedicated fonts, because most people will not have that.
I also notice that there has been no word on the Arabic vowel problem. I suppose it’s a difficult programming problem, and so it will probably never be addressed. In the meantime, compound Arabic diacritics have to be avoided. —Stephen June 27, 2005 13:01 (UTC)
I'd be happy to make a new template for Persian. The names we now have fits with ISO language tags anyway, so I can make {{fa-Arab}}, you can experiment with .FA in your monobook.css file to see what works in general fonts and your dedicated fonts. Then you can edit the template to use the best general font and retain your dedicated font in your monobook.css
The bug in Microsoft's fonts with "farsi yeh" is pretty well known. I think I've read that it's fixed but maybe you only get the fix from service patches to Windows XP... I'm not sure about that.
I'll make an {{RUchar}} template too. That way we can force Arial Unicode MS so people can at least see the stress marks, and people with dedicated fonts that support both the stress marks and proper Russian italics can set up their font in their monobook.css — Hippietrail 28 June 2005 00:10 (UTC)
Stephen, this article investigates which standard Microsoft fonts work best for Urdu and specifically mentions "farsi yeh". What works for Urdu also works for Persian. I don't have those fonts on this computer but if you could test them I'll use your recommendations in the new template. They recomment version 2.80 or 3.0 of Tahoma, or Microsoft Sans Serif. — Hippietrail 28 June 2005 00:51 (UTC)
At the risk of overwhelming or boring you, here is a Google search link which finds many fora discussing the problem, most not in English if you can read the others. One included a test which showed that on my system only Tahoma does the right thing. — Hippietrail 28 June 2005 01:19 (UTC)
Well, we would only want to select from the standard font set that comes with Windows. Persian natives will have special fonts that most other people don’t have, but they are not a likely audience. Most people who would like to see these words will be Americans, Brits and other Westerners, and they usually won’t have special Persian fonts installed.
I checked a bit and it seems that most (but not all) OpenType fonts will show Persian correctly. Here are some OpenType font names that I’ve found will work: Arabic Typesetting, Arial, Book Antiqua, Bookman Oldstyle, Century, Garamond, Palatino Linotype, Tahoma, Times New Roman (but not Courier New, even though it’s OpenType). The Arial that I named is just the regular OT font, and not Arial Unicode MS. Arabic Typesetting is probably not common, and I’m not sure if Palatino Linotype is common or not. The other ones that I named should be available on most any computer I think.
Yesterday morning I tried to update an Arabic page that I had written perhaps a year ago, حسن...there were several instances of compound Arabic diacritics on the page, and they all were displaying correctly. After I made a few changes and saved the page, however, the compound diacritics were reversed and completely wrong...so I had to remove one of each pair and then resave the page. So this problem is fairly recent. —Stephen June 28, 2005 07:11 (UTC)
I thought I'd already mentioned it but apparently not. I implemented {{fa-Arab}} a couple of days ago. Currently it just uses Tahoma which does come with Windows and is one which worked for me, but please feel free to tweak it. — Hippietrail 6 July 2005 10:22 (UTC)
Thanks, I’ll give it a try. ...یارم چو قدح بدست گیرد بتیلفون. I think you also mentioned doing an {{RUchar}} template...that’s how I’ve been using the {{Unicode}} template, to position Russian accents: Template:RUchar. —Stephen 6 July 2005 10:45 (UTC)