Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Writing systems

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Naming consistency[edit]

archived at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (writing systems)

Font display[edit]

The glyphs in Cypriot syllabary do not display in either FF or IE, despite having compatible fonts installed. I tried forcing a font with < span >, but that didn't work either. The words do display properly at Wiktionary, though only in the text. Any idea what's going on? — kwami (talk) 18:58, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

As far as I can tell the glyphs look all right on my system (Windows 8; Firefox 28.0), but the direction is left-to-right. The fonts Firefox has selected (I have more installed for these Unicode ranges) are MPH 2B Damase for the syllabary and Quivira for Aegean Numbers. LiliCharlie (talk) 20:06, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I bet that's it. I don't have Damase installed, though I do have other fonts that include this range, such as Aegean. But when I change my language settings to install fonts as needed, I still can't see it. Do you suppose this might be part of that bug with the language settings, that once you have fonts installed as needed, you can never go back to a normal display? — kwami (talk) 20:49, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
They show in FF for me with Aegean, but not in IE. It seems IE can't auto-pick a font to use. — lfdder 23:32, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Does it happen with other characters from outside the BMP, too? — Christoph Päper 09:00, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Some, but not all. Other blocks supported by the font Aegean are numbered blocks, as are some which I presumably don't have fonts for, but Old Italic script, Gothic alphabet, Ugaritic alphabet, Deseret alphabet, and many others look fine.
Something similar happens with parts of the BMP Latin range, ever since I switched on font downloading to display Burmese. (I have Burmese fonts installed, but FF doesn't have specific Burmese support.) For example, I can't see anything formatted as Yoruba or Bavarian, even the basic Latin alphabet. But while those produce blanks, Cypriot is Unicode-numbered boxes.
Some fonts have numbered boxes for unsupported characters. Could it be that one of these is displayed in preference to Aegean, over-riding it? — kwami (talk) 16:39, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Southwest Paleohispanic script[edit]

This article needs work, and almost certainly a new title as we seem to have invented yet another name for this script. See my comments at Talk:Southwest Paleohispanic script. Dougweller (talk) 16:52, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Backup images of alphabet charts[edit]

One of the many nice things about Wikipedia is its collection of articles on different writing systems. Most articles of this sort include one or more tables that summarize and display the writing system. Since many of the world writing’s systems are represented in Unicode, it is standard practice to use Unicode characters in those tables, whenever they exist. The problem is that many of our readers do not have Unicode fonts that include all defined glyphs, and so often see a bunch of squares in the tables instead of the characters they are looking for. Such articles typically include a warning that this may happen, but that does not help the casual reader who is not prepared to hunt down and install a font with the characters needed.

I would like to propose a fairly simple remedy to this problem: establish the practice of including a small link at the bottom of each such table that takes the reader to a screen shot of the table in question, taken with the needed font installed. The link might be the just letters PNG or perhaps a suitable icon. These tables are likely by now to be pretty stable, but if some maintenance is required, the screen shot can be rerun and uploaded as a replacement image. As a temporary measure, a notice of the change could be placed in the image's file descriptor. Since the editors who maintain these articles presumably have the needed fonts, they would not require anything more than a screen capture utility and an image editor to crop the screen shot. Such programs are widely available for most operating systems. There is information at Wikipedia:Screenshots of Wikipedia about how to do this. (Thanks to User:Whatamidoing (WMF) for this link.) A suitable category on Commons, just for screen shots of Wikipedia writing system tables, would be simple enough to create. No new WikiMedia development activity would be needed. Comments?--agr (talk) 23:37, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I prefer the solution used in Glagolitic alphabet#Characteristics, viz. an image for each letter, not for the whole table. Gorobay (talk) 15:45, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
What I prefer is the “vector solution” that allows high quality magnification of the often tiny glyphs. There are two ways to achieve this: either embed an appropriate font via a template or use vector images (SVGs or PDFs) instead of bitmaps. LiliCharlie (talk) 15:56, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Quite frankly, my preferred solution would be to have a link on each of the Foreign character warning boxes that will load the page with a web font. VanIsaacWScont 19:57, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
    • How hard is that to do?--agr (talk) 20:08, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
      • I have absolutely no clue, whatsoever. I've never actually done anything with webfonts, although I know that there are webfonts available on-wiki. If anybody knows anything about Wikipedia webfonts, any contributions to this discussion would not go unappreciated. VanIsaacWScont 22:08, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

There is a webfont for the Javanese script called Tuladha Jejeg which is automatically enabled. However, it cannot properly display conjuncts in many browsers. Recent attempt to change images to font was deemed inaccessible, so it was reverted back to images. Alteaven (talk) 22:22, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

To summarize, there are these options:
  1. Just a table with Unicode characters, maybe with suitable fonts suggested by CSS.
  2. Just a table with Unicode characters with suitable automatically downloaded font (webfont) suggested by CSS.
  3. Image of the table, linked from the table.
    1. Bitmap picture (PNG) of the table, linked from the table.
    2. Vector graphic (SVG) of the table, linked from the table.
  4. Image instead of the table.
    1. Bitmap picture (PNG) instead of the table.
    2. Vector graphic (SVG) instead of the table.
  5. Image of each character or glyph in the table.
    1. Bitmap picture (PNG) of each character in the table.
    2. Vector graphic (SVG) of each character in the table.
I’m not sure which solution I prefer, but I think I like the last one (5.2.) best, because 2. is not (yet) possible with MediaWiki software on an article base as far as I know. — Christoph Päper 08:40, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
  • AFAIK the only embeddable font format allowed to upload to the Commons is SVG, but browser support for SVG web fonts is still unsatisfactory — in the current versions, Trident (Win IE) and Gecko (FF) users won’t be able to see any changes, but others will.
We might even try both: embed a web font and show vector image specimens of the graphemes as a table or individually. LiliCharlie (talk) 12:29, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
  • P. S.: It would be nice if we could persuade the Commons to allow us to upload web fonts in OTF and/or TTF format. These two formats have seen long support in all major browser layout engines. LiliCharlie (talk) 12:53, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
It’s not just that you need to have the fonts – with proper license – downloadable from somewhere (, or elsewhere), but you also need to change the sidewide stylesheets, e.g. MW:common.css. — Christoph Päper 13:48, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Style information doesn’t have to be in a CSS file; the HTML of templates can contain CSS style definitions as well. LiliCharlie (talk) 18:21, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
You can even put it in the article directly, but not @font-face. — Christoph Päper 18:57, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Does MediWiki parse @font-face rules like comments and ignore them? If that (or something to this effect) is the case: Who is experienced enough, and authorized, to change the sidewide stylesheets if someone comes up with a self designed free license font for a Unicode script with extremely poor font support? (Alternatively, with a PUA font for a not-yet-in-Unicode script.) LiliCharlie (talk) 22:33, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
@font-face is – like all of CSS – parsed by the browser, not by the wiki software. It cannot occur in an HTML style attribute (inline stylesheet), though, only in a style element in the head section of a document (internal stylesheet) or in a separate, shared resource (external stylesheet). Wiki commands in articles and templates are – with rare exceptions – parsed into the body of an HTML document only. Authors can therefore only add inline styles. Administrators can edit the site-wide stylesheets, but it’s unlikely that they’re willing to include many rules for single articles, since most of these specialized web fonts would only ever be used in the article about the script in question, but they might be downloaded by browsers for any page visited.
I once heard that there were plans to allow templates (and maybe articles, too) their own stylesheets (and scripts) in a sub-page like “Template:Foo/style”, but I can’t find recent mentions of such a thing. There is a MediaWiki extension that adds a <css> tag for internal stylesheets, but it’s not installed on Wikipedia. Either of these is what we would need. — Christoph Päper 10:56, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Given the complexity of other solutions, I would like to again argue for Option 3, in Christoph's helpful taxonomy above, at least as an interim approach, with 3.1 as a minimum and 3.2 where possible.

  • It can be done now, in all relevant articles, with modest effort. It even works with scripts that need PUA fonts.
  • Unlike option 4, it doesn't detract from existing articles when a reader does have the required font.
  • It doesn't interfere with better solutions, such as 5.2, as they are deployed.

Note that even the Glagolitic alphabet article, which exemplifies 5.2, includes a Unicode table that would still benefit from option 3. It currently displays as all squares on my browser. A screen shot generated from that table using a font that supports the Glagolitic alphabet, would not only be easier to create, but would be less prone to error than manually filling the table with the .svg glyphs for each letter. --agr (talk) 17:24, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I was trying to look into webfonts issues and found mw:Universal Language Selector/WebFonts which may be interesting to all of you. I did a little experiment on Saurashtra alphabet, for which my browser previously just displayed weird boxes in the alphabet chart. I clicked on the gear icon next to languages, selected "display" then "fonts" and checked the box "Download fonts when needed". After that, the alphabet chart displayed perfectly. (Or, not having any knowledge whatsoever about Saurashtra script, I assume it displayed perfectly...) It appears that Mediawiki (as installed here) has webfonts available natively, but they have to be manually enabled (?). Calliopejen1 (talk) 23:41, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I found the option you are talking about under Preferences --> more language settings -->Fonts button. It makes a big difference, but does not handle all cases. Saurashtra alphabet displays characters now, but Glagolitic alphabet does not. Georgian scripts display but the Nuskhuri letters do not. According the the page you referenced, the download fonts option is not enabled due to increased server loading. Perhaps the notice in the info box should be expanded to encourage users to enable this setting. A backup PNG would still be handy in some cases, it seems,--agr (talk) 21:44, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, that preference setting cannot be linked to easily as it seems. (It’s also only accessible in certain skins like default Vector, although it works elsewhere, too.) — Christoph Päper 14:10, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like something worth reporting. Are you up for filing a Bugzilla report?--agr (talk) 18:26, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Where exactly should I do that? — Christoph Päper 11:05, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
It's described in Wikipedia:Bug reports and feature requests. Let me know if you have any problems.--agr (talk) 14:07, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Christoph (or anyone else), if you don't want to bother with a Bugzilla account, then write up what you want to tell the devs, and I can post it for you. Just leave me a note on my talk page to make sure that I see it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:56, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

en:Languages in censuses[edit]

I invite you to help write Languages this article.--Kaiyr (talk) 13:50, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

text lifted without credit[edit]

The lede section of Palaeography#Latin– two paragraphs, before the first subsection heading– is lifted verbatim without attribution from Encyclopædia Britannica, probably from the public domain 1911 edition, which is credited (in the reference note) for the following sections but not for the lede section. See .

This is the text in question; boldface in reference added:

Attention should be drawn at the outset to certain fundamental definitions and principles of the science. The original characters of an alphabet are modified by the material and the implements used. When stone and chisel are discarded for papyrus and reed-pen, the hand encounters less resistance and moves more rapidly. This leads to changes in the size and position of the letters, and then to the joining of letters, and, consequently, to altered shapes. We are thus confronted at an early date with quite distinct types. The majuscule style of writing, based on two parallel lines, ADPL, is opposed to the minuscule, based on a system of four lines, with letters of unequal height, adpl. Another classification, according to the care taken in forming the letters, distinguishes between the set book-hand and the cursive script. The difference in this case is determined by the subject matter of the text; the writing used for books (scriptura libraria) is in all periods quite distinct from that used for letters and documents (epistolaris, diplomatica). While the set book-hand, in majuscule or minuscule, shows a tendency to stabilise the forms of the letters, the cursive, often carelessly written, is continually changing in the course of years and according to the preferences of the writers.
This being granted, a summary survey of the morphological history of the Latin alphabet shows the zenith of its modifications at once, for its history is divided into two very unequal periods, the first dominated by majuscule and the second by minuscule writing.[1]
  1. ^ The contents of the following sections on Latin palaeography — especially the parts relating to "Minuscule writing"—are mainly based on the specialist writings consulted and cited throughout the text, from the following sources: primarily the article on Latin handwriting by French palaeographist A. de Bouard, present in Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, Cambridge University Press - now in the public domain; the requisite Fonts for Latin Palaeography - User's manual, by Juan-Jose Marcos, 2011; Schiapparelli, La scrittura latina nell'età romana, 1921; Giorgio Cencetti, Paleografia latina, Jouvence, 2002; Bernhard Bischoff, Paleografia latina. Antichità e Medioevo, Antenore, 2000 (Ital. ed.); Edward Maunde Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography, cit.

--Thnidu (talk) 02:10, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, not to approve of plagiarism, but if the text is taken from a public domain source, it is actually not a copyright problem. The section introduction should still be paraphrased, just from a scholarly perspective, but if you are still concerned, {{subst:copyvio}} can be used to get help from people with more experience with copyright problems. VanIsaacWScont 02:25, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
I've added a sentence to the credits in the References, footnote 20. --Thnidu (talk) 06:47, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Leaflet For Wikiproject Writing Systems At Wikimania 2014[edit]

Hi all,

My name is Adi Khajuria and I am helping out with Wikimania 2014 in London.

One of our initiatives is to create leaflets to increase the discoverability of various wikimedia projects, and showcase the breadth of activity within wikimedia. Any kind of project can have a physical paper leaflet designed - for free - as a tool to help recruit new contributors. These leaflets will be printed at Wikimania 2014, and the designs can be re-used in the future at other events and locations.

This is particularly aimed at highlighting less discoverable but successful projects, e.g:

• Active Wikiprojects: Wikiproject Medicine, WikiProject Video Games, Wikiproject Film

• Tech projects/Tools, which may be looking for either users or developers.

• Less known major projects: Wikinews, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.

• Wiki Loves Parliaments, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves ____

• Wikimedia thematic organisations, Wikiwomen’s Collaborative, The Signpost

For more information or to sign up for one for your project, go to:
Project leaflets
Adikhajuria (talk) 16:17, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Unicode maintenance[edit]

Due to the issues shown at this thread, I think it would be a good idea for this project to automatically file a bugzilla report whenever a new Unicode version is released to update case mapping for the new version. Which brings up the point that we should probably have a standard procedure for Unicode updates on the project page. So I've come up with the following to add to the project page, and if anyone has other maintenance that should occur with new Unicode versions, or wants to change the timing of any tasks, please change the subsection below. VanIsaacWScont 01:29, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Seriously folks, any thoughts, criticisms or additions? VanIsaacWScont 21:08, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Why update {{Infobox Unicode block}} and {{ISO 15924}} before the release? Gorobay (talk) 22:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Infobox Unicode block needs to be able to handle the input value, eg | 7_1 = before this gets added to the block articles. Since the announcement of the beta is the time at which the new version number is set (we know the next version won't be 8.0, or that there isn't going to be a currency symbol taking up a minor version in the meantime, for example), and ISO 15924 will have its new values by that time (some Unicode data files necessary for beta feedback are dependent on 15924 values), it seemed like the time to check on those things when the lack of functioning won't interfere with articles undergoing revision, like it would if we wait for the updates associated with the final release. VanIsaacWScont 22:39, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Unicode maintenance[edit]

When a beta version of Unicode is released, the following maintenance should be performed:

  1. Update template:Infobox Unicode block to accept additions from the new Unicode version.
  2. Update all ISO 15924 templates to support all scripts to be added in the new Unicode version.

When the a new Unicode version is released, the following maintenance should be performed:

  1. All Unicode chart templates should be updated for any added characters, and new Unicode chart templates created for new blocks and added to Template:Unicode chart templates.
  2. Unicode block articles should be updated for any added characters, and new Unicode block articles created for new blocks.
  3. {{Category TOC Unicode}} should be updated for new blocks.
  4. Unicode, Unicode#Versions, Unicode block, (any others?) should be updated to the new character repertoire and any changes to the standard.
  5. All script articles should be updated to include appropriate Unicode chart templates.
  6. File a report with bugzilla to update case matching.