Font translations

Tue Mar 24 16:58:23 UTC 1998

About 12-14 years ago, I was thrilled at just seeing Tamil wordprocessing.
George Hart developed the first Tamil font for an Apple machine,
I think. Then the TEX and LATEX, hard to use in my opinion.

Then different people started developing tamil fonts. Dr. Vijay
from Toronto and Dr. Kuppu at John Hopkins univ., Many others
also developed elegant fonts. Then an explosion of web Tamil
material, magazines, etc., Important is the tamil net organized
by Muthu, Bala Pilai from Sigapore/Malaysia. I gather that
about 50,000 people exchange e-mail in Tamil via
Murasu Anjal scheme.

Many font developers insisted their keyboard mapping is the best.
Usually, they followed tamil typewriter keyboard or roman transliteration
keyboard or a variant/mixture of these two.

For the last 30 months, I have been using a user-friendly software
from S. Periyasamy in a PC.

It bypasses the need to input according to the font developer's
keyboard mapping. I type in what is convenient for me. The software
converts the input and stores in a font-neutral format. Then we
can go to any font, or even a mixture of fonts developed by
different people.

For example, take the Koeln university Tamil file which uses roman
transliteration and no diacretical marks for 12 tamil vowels
and 18 tamil characters. This can easily be converted into a
Word file displaying Madras university roman transliteration font
with diacretical marks or tamil script font developed by anybody.

This software makes the font translations a joy. Going from
tamil script to roman transliteration with diacreticals
to roman transcription without diacreticals. In any direction
or any combination! Parts of english text and grantha characters also
are handled.

N. Ganesan

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