Tamil and other fonts in ODK Collect

Patrick,

It's been consolidated and the newest code has been incorporated into
formhub. We are working to get out some official docs. For now, here are
some reference examples you can follow.

See the message below.

Thanks,

Matt

Dear formhub users,
This is just to notify you that formhub's xlsform engine was upgraded at
the end of last week. The library, which is currently named pyxform and
pending rename to xlsform, currently lives at

Exciting new features include:

  • Upgraded language specifications.
  • Support for calculations through xlsforms
  • Support for authoring all widgets available in ODK Collect 1.1.7

Upgraded language specifications

··· On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 5:07 AM, Patrick McNeal wrote:

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Matt Berg mlberg@gmail.com wrote:

First, due to the great work of Nathan Breit on the ODK team we'll be
releasing an updated spec of XLS2XForm very soon that consolidates some of
the differences between the ODK and formhub/xform.childcount.orgversions. We've also simplified the syntax a bit and provided better
support for multimedia / calculations, etc. We hope to share more details
on this very soon.

Any update on this consolidation? I'm working on some training, and don't
want to create material on something that's soon to be outdated soon.

Thanks

--Patrick

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··· On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 5:20 AM, Christopher Robert wrote: > Hi Matt, > > Will you be supporting the new ODK encryption support in XLS2XForm anytime > soon? Best I can tell, this would require (a) some way to add > around an instanceID field, (b) the specification of a secure server > address, and (c) the specification of a public key. So far, we've been > making these changes to XLS2XForm-generated .xml files by hand. > > Thanks, > > Chris > > > On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Matt Berg wrote: >> >> Patrick, >> >> It's been consolidated and the newest code has been incorporated into >> formhub. We are working to get out some official docs. For now, here are >> some reference examples you can follow. >> >> See the message below. >> >> Thanks, >> >> Matt >> >> Dear formhub users, >> This is just to notify you that formhub's xlsform engine was upgraded at >> the end of last week. The library, which is currently named pyxform and >> pending rename to xlsform, currently lives >> at https://github.com/modilabs/pyxform >> >> Exciting new features include: >> * Upgraded language specifications. >> * Support for calculations through xlsforms >> * Support for authoring all widgets available in ODK Collect 1.1.7 >> >> Upgraded language specifications >> * We have made the syntax for authoring xlsforms simpler. Instead of >> bind:constraint, you will be writing constraint, and instead of select one >> from options, you can simply write select_one options. >> See https://github.com/modilabs/pyxform/blob/master/pyxform/tests/example_xls/xlsform_spec_test.xls for >> a preview of the new simplified language, and >> watch http://blog.formhub.org for more documentation on the new language. >> >> * Along with simplification, we have added some language features that >> were previously missing, such as the ability to do calculations with >> xlsforms. >> See https://github.com/modilabs/pyxform/blob/master/pyxform/tests/example_xls/calculate.xls for >> an example >> >> * All ODK 1.1.7 widgets can now be created using the xlsform language. >> See https://github.com/modilabs/pyxform/blob/master/pyxform/tests/example_xls/widgets.xls for >> a replication of the screens >> in http://opendatakit.org/help/form-design/examples/ >> >> On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 5:07 AM, Patrick McNeal wrote: >>> >>> On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Matt Berg wrote: >>>> >>>> >>>> First, due to the great work of Nathan Breit on the ODK team we'll be >>>> releasing an updated spec of XLS2XForm very soon that consolidates some of >>>> the differences between the ODK and formhub/xform.childcount.org versions. >>>> We've also simplified the syntax a bit and provided better support for >>>> multimedia / calculations, etc. We hope to share more details on this very >>>> soon. >>> >>> >>> Any update on this consolidation? I'm working on some training, and >>> don't want to create material on something that's soon to be outdated soon. >>> >>> Thanks >>> >>> --Patrick >>> >>> -- >>> Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com >>> Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com >>> Options: http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en >> >> >> -- >> Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com >> Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com >> Options: http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en > > -- > Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > Options: http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en

Hi Matt,

Will you be supporting the new ODK encryption support in XLS2XForm anytime
soon? Best I can tell, this would require (a) some way to add
around an instanceID field, (b) the specification of a secure server
address, and (c) the specification of a public key. So far, we've been
making these changes to XLS2XForm-generated .xml files by hand.

Thanks,

Chris

··· On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Matt Berg wrote:

Patrick,

It's been consolidated and the newest code has been incorporated into
formhub. We are working to get out some official docs. For now, here are
some reference examples you can follow.

See the message below.

Thanks,

Matt

Dear formhub users,
This is just to notify you that formhub's xlsform engine was upgraded at
the end of last week. The library, which is currently named pyxform and
pending rename to xlsform, currently lives at
https://github.com/modilabs/pyxform

Exciting new features include:

  • Upgraded language specifications.
  • Support for calculations through xlsforms
  • Support for authoring all widgets available in ODK Collect 1.1.7

Upgraded language specifications

On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 5:07 AM, Patrick McNeal <mcneal@mit.edu<javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'mcneal@mit.edu');> wrote:

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Matt Berg <mlberg@gmail.com<javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'mlberg@gmail.com');> wrote:

First, due to the great work of Nathan Breit on the ODK team we'll be
releasing an updated spec of XLS2XForm very soon that consolidates some of
the differences between the ODK and formhub/xform.childcount.orgversions. We've also simplified the syntax a bit and provided better
support for multimedia / calculations, etc. We hope to share more details
on this very soon.

Any update on this consolidation? I'm working on some training, and
don't want to create material on something that's soon to be outdated soon.

Thanks

--Patrick

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Here's the site I've been working on for rendering internationalized
text:
http://bit.ly/wKHwje
I'm working on making it possible to upload a spreadsheet and get back
a zipped directory with an image for every row. For now it can only
generate one image at a time.
Regards,
-Nathan

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the reply.

As I mentioned earlier, our Tamil text is showing great (in ODK) on our
Samsung Galaxy Y's. The Android bug discussion likewise mentions some LG
and other models that support Hindi out of the box. The question is whether
these manufacturers are doing anything more than simply dropping the fonts
into the fonts folder. If they are simply bundling the fonts, then I
thought that we might do the same in the app itself. There seems to be a
fair bit of skepticism whether that would work, however. If I manage to
give it a try, then I'll report back with the results. (I don't, as yet,
know how to bundle with ODK, but I should be able to figure that out.)

Thanks again,

Chris

I know people have tried to add fonts like Hindi on the system level, but
I think Android lacks the proper rendering support for several scripting
languages. That is, it can display the fonts, but given a glyph that can
have 3 or so different placements to mean different things, it always puts
them in the first spot. I don't know of anyone who has tried adding
Devangari to ODK, but I have used applications that reportedly support
Hindi only to have boxes show up on my phone instead.

If you look at the Android release notes, they purportedly started
supporting Hindi around Android 2.2 or 2.3. I'm not sure what their
definition of "support" is, but I've never seen Hindi work on a
non-customized build, and there are only a few phones I've heard of with
proprietary builds that support it.

The relevant android bug is here:
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4153

Sorry, but a related question: has anybody tried embedding a font with a
custom-built ODK Collect? Since individual Android apps are supposed to be
able to embed their own Unicode fonts, this seems like it could be one
potential solution.

Thanks again to all for the ideas and assistance,

Chris

Dear all,

We're piloting ODK for a series of surveys in rural Tamil Nadu, in
Southern India. Our surveyors don't know English and most of them would not
understand any transliterated version of Tamil, so it's important that our
surveys use the Tamil script. So far, our options seem to be:

  1. Use the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Note, since both of these show
    Unicode Tamil in our ODK surveys right out of the box. The trouble is, the
    Galaxy Y's on-screen keyboard is a touch too small, and the Galaxy Note is
    way too expensive.
  1. "Root" our devices and hand-install Tamil fonts. In principle, this
    can work with any device, but frankly we are scared. We would like to use
    the Motorola Fire, for example, but its rooting procedure seems
    particularly sketchy and ill-defined. Even if a tech wizard can root a
    device and install the font successfully, it seems a tall order to do this
    to every device we purchase.

My impression is that ODK implementers typically punt on this issue,
either using English or some transliterated version of the local language,
in order to avoid needing support for different fonts. If any of you have
had success with other Unicode fonts, would you share your experiences? Did
you go with devices that happened to have those fonts pre-installed, or did
you go the rooting route? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Chris

P.S. The issue goes beyond whether a font is or isn't present. For
example, Spice's budget tablet supports Tamil text, but shows it in an
archaic, formal script that many cannot understand.

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Dear Nathan,
As 5 years have passed since you wrote this post, maybe I'm a bit too late. But have you managed to create that tool that creates an image for each row of an excel file? I have Bangla script which my Android device (version 5.0.1) cannot recognize in text, so it seems that the only solution is to upload an image for every question and answer option in Bangla.
Of course, I would be enormously grateful for support in this or from anyone else who has tips on how to solve this issue of getting Bangla script to appear in ODK Collect.
Thank you!
Christina

··· On Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7:57:06 PM UTC+1, Nathan wrote: > On Feb 3, 5:00 am, Christopher Robert wrote: > > On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Carl Hartung wrote: > > > On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu > wrote: > > >> On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Christopher Robert wrote:

Chris,

Hosting your own is certainly feasible We have very similar requirements -
surveys with a long term field deployment life so we are equally afraid of
that.
We really want to avoid the situation of having out of date forms so that's
why we're making these changes now.

Matt

··· On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.edu> wrote:

Hi Matt,

Our surveys are meant to be in the field for 3-4 years, with the potential
for very minor changes along the way. In the short-run, renaming columns
and making other tweaks should be no problem, but in the longer-run I guess
that it makes me nervous if we could end up with a bunch of form
definitions that might become out-of-date. Would it be feasible for us to
run our own server instance so that we could always convert XLS->XML using
the codebase that went with the original forms?

Thanks,

Chris

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Matt Berg wrote:

Gaetano - Just to clarify is this an extension of xls2xform or a separate
tool you've built to do this?

Chris - good question. We're really hoping the changes we made are a
one-time deal and their won't be any major changes moving forward on the
spec. The changes are mostly just renaming some of the column headers and
field names so it should be pretty easy to update your existing forms.

We're debating leaving some alias support to provide
backwards compatibility but we would really like to get people moving
forward with a common standard.

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM, Gaetano Borriello < gaetano@cs.washington.edu> wrote:

We have something preliminary working. If you can work with us on this,
we may be able to get you going. The first step are to prepare a
spreadsheet with columns for the question text in the languages (using the
appropriate font file - .ttf - and having set excel to show unicode). An
additional column for each language should have the name to be given that
image file. If you can generate such a spreadsheet - even a test one - we
can push it through and send you the results. You are right about
experimenting with text size height. Our approach right now is to manually
insert line breaks once a width is finalized (easiest and most reliable),
we then count the line breaks to determine the height of the image. Up for
this?

Gaetano

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM, Christopher Robert < chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.edu> wrote:

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the reply -- and for the ray of hope. Auto-generating the
images is a great idea -- though of course it's somewhat absurd that the
Android platform would force us into such contortions!

I suppose that the image auto-generator will need to take a few
parameters, namely the image width and perhaps a preferred font size. I'll
eagerly await more news on this, as it does sound like it will make our
lives much easier.

This talk of updates to XLS2XForm makes me wonder: do you recommend that
users install and run their own XLS2XForm server instances? I'm sure that
you'll seek to maintain backward compatibility in new updates, but if I
have an RA team trained on a particular version, and a bunch of surveys
developed for that version, then it seems like I might like to have that
version of XLS2XForm running someplace safe, in case of small updates to
the surveys. Is that encouraged/supported?

Thanks again,

Chris

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Matt Berg wrote:

Chris,

We're experiencing many of the same issues trying to get Kannada support
working.

We are about to work on something that we hope will help provide a
temporary fix to this problem for those who use XLS2XForm.

First, due to the great work of Nathan Breit on the ODK team we'll be
releasing an updated spec of XLS2XForm very soon that consolidates some of
the differences between the ODK and formhub/xform.childcount.orgversions. We've also simplified the syntax a bit and provided better
support for multimedia / calculations, etc. We hope to share more details
on this very soon.

Back to this language issue. We're planning on modifying XLS2XForm to
automatically generate the text into images and then automatically link
them properly in the xform to represent question labels, option labs and
hints. If you have any question, Prabhas who is the main person behind
this will have more details. This doesn't get around the issue of data
entry but we think it'll at least be helpful in providing a temporary fix
to many of these issues.

We'll let you know when we are closer to having something to show.

Thanks,

Matt

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.edu> wrote:

Dear Yaw,

Thanks for the lightning-fast reply!

My big worry with images is just the practical difficulty associated with
creating appropriately-sized/wrapped images, uploading them, etc. Right now
we use XLS2XForm and the RA team can very easily manage the surveys
themselves. It looks like XLS2XForm supports a media:image column, however,
so maybe the only complication is making images that are sized and wrapped
appropriately. Did you have good luck with a particular software package
for image-creation and -editing? I suppose we'd just need to come up

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We don't see much benefit in embedding this code in xls2xform. It is
easier to have a seperate server-side app that generates the media files
referred to by the xls. That is what Nathan's code will turn into.
Android will eventually support all these alphabets and I don't want to
put in unnecessary effort when it will become superfluous.

ODK already downloads forms and corresponding media - we download
formname.xml and also look for a formname-media folder to download. I'm
not sure what new you are looking for here. We also have a form/media
uploader to upload files to aggregate. We'll be posting about this soon.
I think we have this part of the exercise in place already.

··· On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 6:00 AM, Prabhas Pokharel <prabhas.pokharel@gmail.com wrote:

Gaetano, as Matt said, if the code was out there somewhere, it would be
great to have a look. Displaying Kannada, which needs complex character
rendering like most Indic languages, is a requirement for one of our
projects, and we are planning to build image rendering into xls2xform in
order to do that. We are planning to use pango/cairo and python, and so far
have only learned enough that we can generate an image with rendered
unicode when width and height are specified. If there is code that has
actually taken the steps to take this to images that work well with ODK,
etc., might be useful to study it before we start working.

The other thing working on such an exercise suggests is that it would be
great if ODK could automatically pull media files from a server; through
something like a medialist that went along with the formlist. I'm sure
there has been thought that has been put in along those lines; would love
to hear more.

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012 2:38:21 AM UTC-5, Gaetano Borriello wrote:

Separate tool for now. Intention was to build it into xls2xform if there
is enough demand. But it would need a bit more work to do it right.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM, Matt Berg mlberg@gmail.com wrote:

Gaetano - Just to clarify is this an extension of xls2xform or a
separate tool you've built to do this?

Chris - good question. We're really hoping the changes we made are a
one-time deal and their won't be any major changes moving forward on the
spec. The changes are mostly just renaming some of the column headers and
field names so it should be pretty easy to update your existing forms.

We're debating leaving some alias support to provide
backwards compatibility but we would really like to get people moving
forward with a common standard.

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM, Gaetano Borriello < gaetano@cs.washington.edu> wrote:

We have something preliminary working. If you can work with us on
this, we may be able to get you going. The first step are to prepare a
spreadsheet with columns for the question text in the languages (using the
appropriate font file - .ttf - and having set excel to show unicode). An
additional column for each language should have the name to be given that
image file. If you can generate such a spreadsheet - even a test one - we
can push it through and send you the results. You are right about
experimenting with text size height. Our approach right now is to manually
insert line breaks once a width is finalized (easiest and most reliable),
we then count the line breaks to determine the height of the image. Up for
this?

Gaetano

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM, Christopher Robert < chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.**edu chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.edu>wrote:

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the reply -- and for the ray of hope. Auto-generating the
images is a great idea -- though of course it's somewhat absurd that the
Android platform would force us into such contortions!

I suppose that the image auto-generator will need to take a few
parameters, namely the image width and perhaps a preferred font size. I'll
eagerly await more news on this, as it does sound like it will make our
lives much easier.

This talk of updates to XLS2XForm makes me wonder: do you recommend
that users install and run their own XLS2XForm server instances? I'm sure
that you'll seek to maintain backward compatibility in new updates, but if
I have an RA team trained on a particular version, and a bunch of surveys
developed for that version, then it seems like I might like to have that
version of XLS2XForm running someplace safe, in case of small updates to
the surveys. Is that encouraged/supported?

Thanks again,

Chris

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Matt Berg wrote:

Chris,

We're experiencing many of the same issues trying to get Kannada
support working.

We are about to work on something that we hope will help provide a
temporary fix to this problem for those who use XLS2XForm.

First, due to the great work of Nathan Breit on the ODK team we'll be
releasing an updated spec of XLS2XForm very soon that consolidates some of
the differences between the ODK and formhub/xform.childcount.orgversions. We've also simplified the syntax a bit and provided better
support for multimedia / calculations, etc. We hope to share more details
on this very soon.

Back to this language issue. We're planning on modifying XLS2XForm
to automatically generate the text into images and then automatically link
them properly in the xform to represent question labels, option labs and
hints. If you have any question, Prabhas who is the main person behind
this will have more details. This doesn't get around the issue of data
entry but we think it'll at least be helpful in providing a temporary fix
to many of these issues.

We'll let you know when we are closer to having something to show.

Thanks,

Matt

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.**edu> wrote:

Dear Yaw,

Thanks for the lightning-fast reply!

My big worry with images is just the practical difficulty associated
with creating appropriately-sized/wrapped images, uploading them, etc.
Right now we use XLS2XForm and the RA team can very easily manage the
surveys themselves. It looks like XLS2XForm supports a media:image column,
however, so maybe the only complication is making images that are sized and
wrapped appropriately. Did you have good luck with a particular software
package for image-creation and -editing? I suppose we'd just need to come
up with the question-image dimensions that work best on our device of
choice, then standardize on a software package and font for creating images
of that size. I'd be grateful for any additional advice from your Hindi
experience.

Thanks,

Chris

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Yaw Anokwa wrote:

Another option is to use images instead of text for the question
text.
We've done that for some Hindi forms and it works pretty well.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 22:17, Christopher Robert <chris_robert@hksphd.harvard.**edu> wrote:

Dear all,

We're piloting ODK for a series of surveys in rural Tamil Nadu,
in Southern
India. Our surveyors don't know English and most of them would not
understand any transliterated version of Tamil, so it's important
that our
surveys use the Tamil script. So far, our options seem to be:

  1. Use the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Note, since both of these
    show Unicode
    Tamil in our ODK surveys right out of the box. The trouble is,
    the Galaxy
    Y's on-screen keyboard is a touch too small, and the Galaxy Note
    is way too
    expensive.

  2. "Root" our devices and hand-install Tamil fonts. In principle,
    this can
    work with any device, but frankly we are scared. We would like to
    use the
    Motorola Fire, for example, but its rooting procedure seems
    particularly
    sketchy and ill-defined. Even if a tech wizard can root a device
    and install
    the font successfully, it seems a tall order to do this to every
    device we
    purchase.

My impression is that ODK implementers typically punt on this
issue, either
using English or some transliterated version of the local
language, in order
to avoid needing support for different fonts. If any of you have
had success
with other Unicode fonts, would you share your experiences? Did
you go with
devices that happened to have those fonts pre-installed, or did
you go the
rooting route? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Chris

P.S. The issue goes beyond whether a font is or isn't present.
For example,
Spice's budget tablet supports Tamil text, but shows it in an
archaic,
formal script that many cannot understand.

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Hi Chris,
It might be an issue with the font you are using. I don't know how you
generated blob.png, but it may be that a different font was used in
the process. I put a few different Tamil fonts on the server (those
with lohit_ and TAMu_ prefixes) which render the dots over characters.
I hope this helps.
-Nathan

··· On Feb 3, 9:07 pm, Christopher Robert wrote: > Hi Nathan, > > I uploaded TamilMN.ttf, then pasted in one of our Tamil prompts. It > uploaded a blob.png to the server (attached), which is small and low-res -- > but it has all its dots in the right places. It also put a > rendered_text.png at the top of the screen (also attached), which is larger > and higher-res -- but has its dots in the wrong places (at the ends of > characters rather than over them). Seems like maybe the blob.png is > originating on my computer with my font, but then that's the same > TamilMN.ttf that I uploaded... so not sure why rendered_text.png is > different. Maybe you can make sense of this, though. > > Thanks, > > Chris > > > > > > > > On Friday, February 3, 2012, Nathan wrote: > > Here's the site I've been working on for rendering internationalized > > text: > >http://bit.ly/wKHwje > > I'm working on making it possible to upload a spreadsheet and get back > > a zipped directory with an image for every row. For now it can only > > generate one image at a time. > > Regards, > > -Nathan > > > On Feb 3, 5:00 am, Christopher Robert <chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu > wrote: > > > Hi Carl, > > > > Thanks for the reply. > > > > As I mentioned earlier, our Tamil text is showing great (in ODK) on our > > > Samsung Galaxy Y's. The Android bug discussion likewise mentions some LG > > > and other models that support Hindi out of the box. The question is > > whether > > > these manufacturers are doing anything more than simply dropping the > > fonts > > > into the fonts folder. If they are simply bundling the fonts, then I > > > thought that we might do the same in the app itself. There seems to be a > > > fair bit of skepticism whether that would work, however. If I manage to > > > give it a try, then I'll report back with the results. (I don't, as yet, > > > know how to bundle with ODK, but I should be able to figure that out.) > > > > Thanks again, > > > > Chris > > > > On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Carl Hartung wrote: > > > > I know people have tried to add fonts like Hindi on the system level, > > but > > > > I think Android lacks the proper rendering support for several > > scripting > > > > languages. That is, it can display the fonts, but given a glyph that > > can > > > > have 3 or so different placements to mean different things, it always > > puts > > > > them in the first spot. I don't know of anyone who has tried adding > > > > Devangari to ODK, but I have used applications that reportedly support > > > > Hindi only to have boxes show up on my phone instead. > > > > > If you look at the Android release notes, they purportedly started > > > > supporting Hindi around Android 2.2 or 2.3. I'm not sure what their > > > > definition of "support" is, but I've never seen Hindi work on a > > > > non-customized build, and there are only a few phones I've heard of > > with > > > > proprietary builds that support it. > > > > > The relevant android bug is here: > > > >http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4153 > > > > > On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu <javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu ');>> wrote: > > > > >> Sorry, but a related question: has anybody tried embedding a font > > with a > > > >> custom-built ODK Collect? Since individual Android apps are supposed > > to be > > > >> able to embed their own Unicode fonts, this seems like it could be one > > > >> potential solution. > > > > >> Thanks again to all for the ideas and assistance, > > > > >> Chris > > > > >> On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Christopher Robert wrote: > > > > >>> Dear all, > > > > >>> We're piloting ODK for a series of surveys in rural Tamil Nadu, in > > > >>> Southern India. Our surveyors don't know English and most of them > > would not > > > >>> understand any transliterated version of Tamil, so it's important > > that our > > > >>> surveys use the Tamil script. So far, our options seem to be: > > > > >>> 1. Use the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Note, since both of these show > > > >>> Unicode Tamil in our ODK surveys right out of the box. The trouble > > is, the > > > >>> Galaxy Y's on-screen keyboard is a touch too small, and the Galaxy > > Note is > > > >>> way too expensive. > > > > >>> 2. "Root" our devices and hand-install Tamil fonts. In principle, > > this > > > >>> can work with any device, but frankly we are scared. We would like > > to use > > > >>> the Motorola Fire, for example, but its rooting procedure seems > > > >>> particularly sketchy and ill-defined. Even if a tech wizard can root > > a > > > >>> device and install the font successfully, it seems a tall order to > > do this > > > >>> to every device we purchase. > > > > >>> My impression is that ODK implementers typically punt on this issue, > > > >>> either using English or some transliterated version of the local > > language, > > > >>> in order to avoid needing support for different fonts. If any of you > > have > > > >>> had success with other Unicode fonts, would you share your > > experiences? Did > > > >>> you go with devices that happened to have those fonts pre-installed, > > or did > > > >>> you go the rooting route? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. > > > > >>> Thank you very much, > > > > >>> Chris > > > > >>> P.S. The issue goes beyond whether a font is or isn't present. For > > > >>> example, Spice's budget tablet supports Tamil text, but shows it in > > an > > > >>> archaic, formal script that many cannot understand. > > > > >>> -- > > > >> Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > 'cvml', > > > >> 'opendatakit@googlegroups.com ');> > > > >> Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > > >> 'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com > > ');> > > > >> Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en > > > > > -- > > > > Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > 'cvml', > > > > 'opendatakit@googlegroups.com ');> > > > > Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > > > 'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com ');> > > > > Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en > > > -- > > Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > > Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > > Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en > > > > blob.png > 2KViewDownload > > rendered_text.png > 3KViewDownload

Hi Christina,

I don't think Nathan looks at this mailing list anymore, but I've sent
this message on to him. Maybe he can host the text to image tool he
built.

I know there are a lot of ODK users who speak Bangla, so perhaps they
can share how they get ODK to work with native (non-image) rendering.
I think you need a device that has that Bangla fonts baked in, but
it's been years since I looked at this...

Yaw

··· On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 7:23 AM, wrote: > On Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7:57:06 PM UTC+1, Nathan wrote: >> Here's the site I've been working on for rendering internationalized >> text: >> http://bit.ly/wKHwje >> I'm working on making it possible to upload a spreadsheet and get back >> a zipped directory with an image for every row. For now it can only >> generate one image at a time. >> Regards, >> -Nathan >> >> On Feb 3, 5:00 am, Christopher Robert wrote: >> > Hi Carl, >> > >> > Thanks for the reply. >> > >> > As I mentioned earlier, our Tamil text is showing great (in ODK) on our >> > Samsung Galaxy Y's. The Android bug discussion likewise mentions some LG >> > and other models that support Hindi out of the box. The question is whether >> > these manufacturers are doing anything more than simply dropping the fonts >> > into the fonts folder. If they are simply bundling the fonts, then I >> > thought that we might do the same in the app itself. There seems to be a >> > fair bit of skepticism whether that would work, however. If I manage to >> > give it a try, then I'll report back with the results. (I don't, as yet, >> > know how to bundle with ODK, but I should be able to figure that out.) >> > >> > Thanks again, >> > >> > Chris >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Carl Hartung wrote: >> > > I know people have tried to add fonts like Hindi on the system level, but >> > > I think Android lacks the proper rendering support for several scripting >> > > languages. That is, it can display the fonts, but given a glyph that can >> > > have 3 or so different placements to mean different things, it always puts >> > > them in the first spot. I don't know of anyone who has tried adding >> > > Devangari to ODK, but I have used applications that reportedly support >> > > Hindi only to have boxes show up on my phone instead. >> > >> > > If you look at the Android release notes, they purportedly started >> > > supporting Hindi around Android 2.2 or 2.3. I'm not sure what their >> > > definition of "support" is, but I've never seen Hindi work on a >> > > non-customized build, and there are only a few phones I've heard of with >> > > proprietary builds that support it. >> > >> > > The relevant android bug is here: >> > >http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4153 >> > >> > > On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu > wrote: >> > >> > >> Sorry, but a related question: has anybody tried embedding a font with a >> > >> custom-built ODK Collect? Since individual Android apps are supposed to be >> > >> able to embed their own Unicode fonts, this seems like it could be one >> > >> potential solution. >> > >> > >> Thanks again to all for the ideas and assistance, >> > >> > >> Chris >> > >> > >> On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Christopher Robert wrote: >> > >> > >>> Dear all, >> > >> > >>> We're piloting ODK for a series of surveys in rural Tamil Nadu, in >> > >>> Southern India. Our surveyors don't know English and most of them would not >> > >>> understand any transliterated version of Tamil, so it's important that our >> > >>> surveys use the Tamil script. So far, our options seem to be: >> > >> > >>> 1. Use the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Note, since both of these show >> > >>> Unicode Tamil in our ODK surveys right out of the box. The trouble is, the >> > >>> Galaxy Y's on-screen keyboard is a touch too small, and the Galaxy Note is >> > >>> way too expensive. >> > >> > >>> 2. "Root" our devices and hand-install Tamil fonts. In principle, this >> > >>> can work with any device, but frankly we are scared. We would like to use >> > >>> the Motorola Fire, for example, but its rooting procedure seems >> > >>> particularly sketchy and ill-defined. Even if a tech wizard can root a >> > >>> device and install the font successfully, it seems a tall order to do this >> > >>> to every device we purchase. >> > >> > >>> My impression is that ODK implementers typically punt on this issue, >> > >>> either using English or some transliterated version of the local language, >> > >>> in order to avoid needing support for different fonts. If any of you have >> > >>> had success with other Unicode fonts, would you share your experiences? Did >> > >>> you go with devices that happened to have those fonts pre-installed, or did >> > >>> you go the rooting route? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. >> > >> > >>> Thank you very much, >> > >> > >>> Chris >> > >> > >>> P.S. The issue goes beyond whether a font is or isn't present. For >> > >>> example, Spice's budget tablet supports Tamil text, but shows it in an >> > >>> archaic, formal script that many cannot understand. >> > >> > >>> -- >> > >> Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > > >> 'opendatakit@googlegroups.com');> >> > >> Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > > >> 'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com');> >> > >> Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en >> > >> > > -- >> > > Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > > > 'opendatakit@googlegroups.com');> >> > > Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > > > 'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com');> >> > > Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en > > Dear Nathan, > As 5 years have passed since you wrote this post, maybe I'm a bit too late. But have you managed to create that tool that creates an image for each row of an excel file? I have Bangla script which my Android device (version 5.0.1) cannot recognize in text, so it seems that the only solution is to upload an image for every question and answer option in Bangla. > Of course, I would be enormously grateful for support in this or from anyone else who has tips on how to solve this issue of getting Bangla script to appear in ODK Collect. > Thank you! > Christina > > -- > -- > Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com > Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com > Options: http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en > > --- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "ODK Community" group. > To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com. > For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Hi Nathan,

Here's the sequence for generating the blob.png:

  1. I go to http://rwinkwavu.cs.washington.edu:8082/uploader/ with my Chrome
    browser.

  2. I paste in some Tamil text ("வீட்டிற்கு அருகில் முக்கிய இடம்").

  3. I put in the font filename ("TamilMN.ttf").

  4. I click on Submit.

  5. Two things happen now. One, the rendered text appears at the bottom of
    the page. Two, a new file appears for upload at the bottom of the file
    list. The file is 2.05kb, has no name, but at the far left I can see a
    preview of my Tamil in a very tiny font. The Start button beckons.

  6. I click Start. It uploads the Tamil file.

  7. blob.png is now downloadable from the preview image at the bottom-left
    of the file list.

But yes, indeed, your other fonts render the dots properly, while TamilMN
does not (though TamilMN does, of course, in my OSX, in this email, in
Excel, and in the mysterious blob.png).

Hope that helps.

Best,

Chris

··· On Sunday, February 5, 2012, Nathan wrote:

Hi Chris,
It might be an issue with the font you are using. I don't know how you
generated blob.png, but it may be that a different font was used in
the process. I put a few different Tamil fonts on the server (those
with lohit_ and TAMu_ prefixes) which render the dots over characters.
I hope this helps.
-Nathan

On Feb 3, 9:07 pm, Christopher Robert <chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu <javascript:;>> wrote:

Hi Nathan,

I uploaded TamilMN.ttf, then pasted in one of our Tamil prompts. It
uploaded a blob.png to the server (attached), which is small and low-res
--
but it has all its dots in the right places. It also put a
rendered_text.png at the top of the screen (also attached), which is
larger
and higher-res -- but has its dots in the wrong places (at the ends of
characters rather than over them). Seems like maybe the blob.png is
originating on my computer with my font, but then that's the same
TamilMN.ttf that I uploaded... so not sure why rendered_text.png is
different. Maybe you can make sense of this, though.

Thanks,

Chris

On Friday, February 3, 2012, Nathan wrote:

Here's the site I've been working on for rendering internationalized
text:
http://bit.ly/wKHwje
I'm working on making it possible to upload a spreadsheet and get back
a zipped directory with an image for every row. For now it can only
generate one image at a time.
Regards,
-Nathan

On Feb 3, 5:00 am, Christopher Robert <chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu <javascript:;> <javascript:;>> wrote:

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the reply.

As I mentioned earlier, our Tamil text is showing great (in ODK) on
our

Samsung Galaxy Y's. The Android bug discussion likewise mentions
some LG

and other models that support Hindi out of the box. The question is
whether
these manufacturers are doing anything more than simply dropping the
fonts
into the fonts folder. If they are simply bundling the fonts, then I
thought that we might do the same in the app itself. There seems to
be a

fair bit of skepticism whether that would work, however. If I manage
to

give it a try, then I'll report back with the results. (I don't, as
yet,

know how to bundle with ODK, but I should be able to figure that
out.)

Thanks again,

Chris

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Carl Hartung wrote:

I know people have tried to add fonts like Hindi on the system
level,

but

I think Android lacks the proper rendering support for several
scripting

languages. That is, it can display the fonts, but given a glyph
that

can

have 3 or so different placements to mean different things, it
always

puts

them in the first spot. I don't know of anyone who has tried
adding

Devangari to ODK, but I have used applications that reportedly
support

Hindi only to have boxes show up on my phone instead.

If you look at the Android release notes, they purportedly started
supporting Hindi around Android 2.2 or 2.3. I'm not sure what
their

definition of "support" is, but I've never seen Hindi work on a
non-customized build, and there are only a few phones I've heard of
with

proprietary builds that support it.

The relevant android bug is here:
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4153

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu <javascript:;> <javascript:;> <javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu <javascript:;><javascript:;>');>> wrote:

Sorry, but a related question: has anybody tried embedding a font
with a

custom-built ODK Collect? Since individual Android apps are
supposed

to be

able to embed their own Unicode fonts, this seems like it could
be one

potential solution.

Thanks again to all for the ideas and assistance,

Chris

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Christopher Robert wrote:

Dear all,

We're piloting ODK for a series of surveys in rural Tamil Nadu,
in

Southern India. Our surveyors don't know English and most of them
would not

understand any transliterated version of Tamil, so it's important
that our

surveys use the Tamil script. So far, our options seem to be:

  1. Use the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Note, since both of these
    show

Unicode Tamil in our ODK surveys right out of the box. The
trouble

is, the

Galaxy Y's on-screen keyboard is a touch too small, and the
Galaxy

Note is

way too expensive.

  1. "Root" our devices and hand-install Tamil fonts. In principle,
    this

can work with any device, but frankly we are scared. We would
like

to use

the Motorola Fire, for example, but its rooting procedure seems
particularly sketchy and ill-defined. Even if a tech wizard can
root

a

device and install the font successfully, it seems a tall order
to

do this

to every device we purchase.

My impression is that ODK implementers typically punt on this
issue,

either using English or some transliterated version of the local
language,

in order to avoid needing support for different fonts. If any of
you

have

had success with other Unicode fonts, would you share your
experiences? Did

you go with devices that happened to have those fonts
pre-installed,

or did

you go the rooting route? Any advice would be greatly
appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Chris

P.S. The issue goes beyond whether a font is or isn't present.
For

example, Spice's budget tablet supports Tamil text, but shows it
in

an

archaic, formal script that many cannot understand.

--
Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com <javascript:;> <javascript:;>
<javascript:_e({},

'cvml',

'opendatakit@googlegroups.com <javascript:;> <javascript:;>');>
Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com<javascript:;><javascript:;><javascript:_e({},
'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com<javascript:;><javascript:;>
');>

Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en

--
Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com <javascript:;> <javascript:;>
<javascript:_e({},

'cvml',

'opendatakit@googlegroups.com <javascript:;> <javascript:;>');>
Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com<javascript:;><javascript:;><javascript:_e({},
'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com <javascript:;><javascript:;>');>
Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en

--
Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com <javascript:;> <javascript:;>
Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com <javascript:;><javascript:;>
Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en

blob.png
2KViewDownload

rendered_text.png
3KViewDownload

--
Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com <javascript:;>
Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com <javascript:;>
Options: http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en

Hi Christina,

Nathan graciously looked into how best to get the server back and
running and an outline of that discussion is at
https://github.com/opendatakit/text_renderer/issues/1.

The bottom line is that while it's possible to get the server back, it
won't be very maintainable for the community going forward. For that
reason, I am not interested in putting cycles there. The code is at
https://github.com/opendatakit/text_renderer so if anyone is excited
about setting up and maintaining an older server, please fork the
code.

That said, I do think Bangla support is important and I do want to
find a way to make that easier for users. I've filed an issue at
https://github.com/opendatakit/collect/issues/1041 to get those
discussions started with some of the contributors who might have
insights into how to do this.

If this is an important feature for you, please comment on that issue
describing why it's important, what potential solutions you've tried,
and then attach a small sample form. If folks who have this issue help
in defining the problem, then I think we can probably find a
reasonable solution.

Thanks,

Yaw

··· On Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 5:15 PM, Yaw Anokwa wrote: > Hi Christina, > > I don't think Nathan looks at this mailing list anymore, but I've sent > this message on to him. Maybe he can host the text to image tool he > built. > > I know there are a lot of ODK users who speak Bangla, so perhaps they > can share how they get ODK to work with native (non-image) rendering. > I think you need a device that has that Bangla fonts baked in, but > it's been years since I looked at this... > > Yaw > > On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 7:23 AM, wrote: >> On Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7:57:06 PM UTC+1, Nathan wrote: >>> Here's the site I've been working on for rendering internationalized >>> text: >>> http://bit.ly/wKHwje >>> I'm working on making it possible to upload a spreadsheet and get back >>> a zipped directory with an image for every row. For now it can only >>> generate one image at a time. >>> Regards, >>> -Nathan >>> >>> On Feb 3, 5:00 am, Christopher Robert wrote: >>> > Hi Carl, >>> > >>> > Thanks for the reply. >>> > >>> > As I mentioned earlier, our Tamil text is showing great (in ODK) on our >>> > Samsung Galaxy Y's. The Android bug discussion likewise mentions some LG >>> > and other models that support Hindi out of the box. The question is whether >>> > these manufacturers are doing anything more than simply dropping the fonts >>> > into the fonts folder. If they are simply bundling the fonts, then I >>> > thought that we might do the same in the app itself. There seems to be a >>> > fair bit of skepticism whether that would work, however. If I manage to >>> > give it a try, then I'll report back with the results. (I don't, as yet, >>> > know how to bundle with ODK, but I should be able to figure that out.) >>> > >>> > Thanks again, >>> > >>> > Chris >>> > >>> > >>> > >>> > >>> > >>> > >>> > >>> > On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Carl Hartung wrote: >>> > > I know people have tried to add fonts like Hindi on the system level, but >>> > > I think Android lacks the proper rendering support for several scripting >>> > > languages. That is, it can display the fonts, but given a glyph that can >>> > > have 3 or so different placements to mean different things, it always puts >>> > > them in the first spot. I don't know of anyone who has tried adding >>> > > Devangari to ODK, but I have used applications that reportedly support >>> > > Hindi only to have boxes show up on my phone instead. >>> > >>> > > If you look at the Android release notes, they purportedly started >>> > > supporting Hindi around Android 2.2 or 2.3. I'm not sure what their >>> > > definition of "support" is, but I've never seen Hindi work on a >>> > > non-customized build, and there are only a few phones I've heard of with >>> > > proprietary builds that support it. >>> > >>> > > The relevant android bug is here: >>> > >http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4153 >>> > >>> > > On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:40 AM, Christopher Robert < chris_rob...@hksphd.harvard.edu > wrote: >>> > >>> > >> Sorry, but a related question: has anybody tried embedding a font with a >>> > >> custom-built ODK Collect? Since individual Android apps are supposed to be >>> > >> able to embed their own Unicode fonts, this seems like it could be one >>> > >> potential solution. >>> > >>> > >> Thanks again to all for the ideas and assistance, >>> > >>> > >> Chris >>> > >>> > >> On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, Christopher Robert wrote: >>> > >>> > >>> Dear all, >>> > >>> > >>> We're piloting ODK for a series of surveys in rural Tamil Nadu, in >>> > >>> Southern India. Our surveyors don't know English and most of them would not >>> > >>> understand any transliterated version of Tamil, so it's important that our >>> > >>> surveys use the Tamil script. So far, our options seem to be: >>> > >>> > >>> 1. Use the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Note, since both of these show >>> > >>> Unicode Tamil in our ODK surveys right out of the box. The trouble is, the >>> > >>> Galaxy Y's on-screen keyboard is a touch too small, and the Galaxy Note is >>> > >>> way too expensive. >>> > >>> > >>> 2. "Root" our devices and hand-install Tamil fonts. In principle, this >>> > >>> can work with any device, but frankly we are scared. We would like to use >>> > >>> the Motorola Fire, for example, but its rooting procedure seems >>> > >>> particularly sketchy and ill-defined. Even if a tech wizard can root a >>> > >>> device and install the font successfully, it seems a tall order to do this >>> > >>> to every device we purchase. >>> > >>> > >>> My impression is that ODK implementers typically punt on this issue, >>> > >>> either using English or some transliterated version of the local language, >>> > >>> in order to avoid needing support for different fonts. If any of you have >>> > >>> had success with other Unicode fonts, would you share your experiences? Did >>> > >>> you go with devices that happened to have those fonts pre-installed, or did >>> > >>> you go the rooting route? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. >>> > >>> > >>> Thank you very much, >>> > >>> > >>> Chris >>> > >>> > >>> P.S. The issue goes beyond whether a font is or isn't present. For >>> > >>> example, Spice's budget tablet supports Tamil text, but shows it in an >>> > >>> archaic, formal script that many cannot understand. >>> > >>> > >>> -- >>> > >> Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com >> > >> 'opendatakit@googlegroups.com');> >>> > >> Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com >> > >> 'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com');> >>> > >> Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en >>> > >>> > > -- >>> > > Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com >> > > 'opendatakit@googlegroups.com');> >>> > > Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com >> > > 'cvml', 'opendatakit%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com');> >>> > > Options:http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en >> >> Dear Nathan, >> As 5 years have passed since you wrote this post, maybe I'm a bit too late. But have you managed to create that tool that creates an image for each row of an excel file? I have Bangla script which my Android device (version 5.0.1) cannot recognize in text, so it seems that the only solution is to upload an image for every question and answer option in Bangla. >> Of course, I would be enormously grateful for support in this or from anyone else who has tips on how to solve this issue of getting Bangla script to appear in ODK Collect. >> Thank you! >> Christina >> >> -- >> -- >> Post: opendatakit@googlegroups.com >> Unsubscribe: opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com >> Options: http://groups.google.com/group/opendatakit?hl=en >> >> --- >> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "ODK Community" group. >> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to opendatakit+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com. >> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.