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Firefox 3 browser and user-defined charset based webpages

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  • K. Kalyanasundaram
    Dear Promads: During the weekend, I updated the Firefox browser running on my Windows XP Pro PC to the latest version Firefox 3.0 and find to my dismay that
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 31, 2008
      Dear Promads:

      During the weekend, I updated the Firefox browser running on my
      Windows XP Pro PC to the latest version Firefox 3.0 and find to my
      dismay that this new beast 3.0 does not handle TSCII-based
      webpages correctly any more.

      Even though there is "user-defined" case still available in Firefox 3
      as one of the charset for the browser, after selecting TSCII-based
      fonts, Project Madurai web-pages based on TSCII are NOT displayed
      correctly. I could not find any simple tweaking to get TSCII-based
      pages to display correctly.

      So, with frustration, I "un-installed" Firefox 3 and reinstalled Firefox 2.0
      to get back status quo so that I can continue to check out TSCII-based
      pages of PM prior to release. Fortunately Firefox 2.0 for Windows PC
      is still available for download but the site says Firefox support for 2
      will cease by Dec. 2008.

      Since TSCII is officially one of the charsets included in the IETF-
      IANA international registry of charsets, I pleaded in the TSCII list
      for some of the software developers to come forward and write
      plug-ins for popular browsers so that TSCII-based pages are
      still readble on the Net. Sadly no one came forward to my knowledge.

      I have not checked webpages based on TAB or TAM that also
      use "user-defined" encoding with Firefox 3.0. But my guess is
      that the situation will be the same as with TSCII.

      There is a genuine risk that Tamil content on the Net based
      on TAB, TAM and TSCII become non-readable without a valid
      browser in the near future (6-months to a year). We do have
      tons of Tamil information on the Net based on these 8-bit
      bilingual encodings and it will be disaster to let them go
      as "non-readable" stuff on the Net.

      Since TAB, TAM encodings were officially launched by TN Govt,.
      it will be nice if TN Govt takes initiatives to provide web-browser
      support for these encodings (thereby TSCII support too) .

      I am well aware that there is trend in the IT world to move to
      Unicode. If the Tamil situation in Unicode is decided oen way
      or the other sooner it wil be better.

      anbudan
      Kalyan
    • கா. சேது | K. Sethu
      On Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 12:12 PM, K. Kalyanasundaram ... Yes I see that with FF-3 we have lost the ability to just switch View-- Character Encoding--
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 1, 2008
        On Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 12:12 PM, K. Kalyanasundaram
        <kalyan.geo@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Promads:
        >
        > During the weekend, I updated the Firefox browser running on my
        > Windows XP Pro PC to the latest version Firefox 3.0 and find to my
        > dismay that this new beast 3.0 does not handle TSCII-based
        > webpages correctly any more.
        >
        > Even though there is "user-defined" case still available in Firefox 3
        > as one of the charset for the browser, after selecting TSCII-based
        > fonts, Project Madurai web-pages based on TSCII are NOT displayed
        > correctly. I could not find any simple tweaking to get TSCII-based
        > pages to display correctly.
        >

        Yes I see that with FF-3 we have lost the ability to just switch
        View-->Character Encoding-->



        > So, with frustration, I "un-installed" Firefox 3 and reinstalled Firefox 2.0
        > to get back status quo so that I can continue to check out TSCII-based
        > pages of PM prior to release. Fortunately Firefox 2.0 for Windows PC
        > is still available for download but the site says Firefox support for 2
        > will cease by Dec. 2008.
        >
        > Since TSCII is officially one of the charsets included in the IETF-
        > IANA international registry of charsets, I pleaded in the TSCII list
        > for some of the software developers to come forward and write
        > plug-ins for popular browsers so that TSCII-based pages are
        > still readble on the Net. Sadly no one came forward to my knowledge.
        >
        > I have not checked webpages based on TAB or TAM that also
        > use "user-defined" encoding with Firefox 3.0. But my guess is
        > that the situation will be the same as with TSCII.
        >
        > There is a genuine risk that Tamil content on the Net based
        > on TAB, TAM and TSCII become non-readable without a valid
        > browser in the near future (6-months to a year). We do have
        > tons of Tamil information on the Net based on these 8-bit
        > bilingual encodings and it will be disaster to let them go
        > as "non-readable" stuff on the Net.
        >
        > Since TAB, TAM encodings were officially launched by TN Govt,.
        > it will be nice if TN Govt takes initiatives to provide web-browser
        > support for these encodings (thereby TSCII support too) .
        >
        > I am well aware that there is trend in the IT world to move to
        > Unicode. If the Tamil situation in Unicode is decided oen way
        > or the other sooner it wil be better.
        >
        > anbudan
        > Kalyan
        >
        >
      • கா. சேது | K. Sethu
        Hi all Sorry, by some unknown mistake my first response got sent before I completed even one sentence. Here I try again (this time keeping the To: field
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 1, 2008
          Hi all

          Sorry, by some unknown mistake my first response got sent before I
          completed even one sentence. Here I try again (this time keeping the
          "To:" field blank till I am sure all what I want to are fully written)

          On Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 12:12 PM, K. Kalyanasundaram
          <kalyan.geo@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> Dear Promads:
          >>
          >> During the weekend, I updated the Firefox browser running on my
          >> Windows XP Pro PC to the latest version Firefox 3.0 and find to my
          >> dismay that this new beast 3.0 does not handle TSCII-based
          >> webpages correctly any more.
          >>
          >> Even though there is "user-defined" case still available in Firefox 3
          >> as one of the charset for the browser, after selecting TSCII-based
          >> fonts, Project Madurai web-pages based on TSCII are NOT displayed
          >> correctly. I could not find any simple tweaking to get TSCII-based
          >> pages to display correctly.
          >>
          >

          Yes, I also see that we no longer have the ability to just select
          View-->Character Encoding-->User Defined with "User Defined" having
          been set to TSCII (TSC or TSCu) fonts when a TSCII web page has to be
          read.

          However with a somewhat more cumbersome procedure display is still possible.

          Instead of "User Defined" try with View-->Character Encoding-->Western
          (ISO-8859-1) or Western (Windows-1252). Before selecting encoding for
          view you have to set the fonts for "Western" under Tools-->Options,
          Fonts setting dialog. Either TSC or TSCu fonts should be selected; the
          latter TSCu may be more preferred since users would need Unicode
          inclusive font mostly.

          But on surfing to a TSCII page such as
          http://www.tamil.net/projectmadurai/pub/pm0001/trkrltsc.html the
          browser automatically selects "User Defined" for View-->Character
          Encoding and so we have to manually change it to Western (ISO-8859-1)
          or Western (Windows-1252). In fact on every reload also we have to
          repeat that changing of the selection from "User Defined" to "Western
          (...)" ! Moreover with TSCu fonts set for "Western" in normal unicode
          english (or rather any latin character set) pages some symbols get
          overtaken by tamil characters.

          Thus more preferred might be the ability to use the browser
          simultaneously as two separate windows one for looking at TSCII pages
          with "Western" set for TSCII fonts and the other for general unicode
          pages with usually preferred unicode fonts set for "Western". I have
          found that is possible. Before coming to it, your next point was:


          >> So, with frustration, I "un-installed" Firefox 3 and reinstalled Firefox 2.0
          >> to get back status quo so that I can continue to check out TSCII-based
          >> pages of PM prior to release. Fortunately Firefox 2.0 for Windows PC
          >> is still available for download but the site says Firefox support for 2
          >> will cease by Dec. 2008.
          >>

          In fact as I have found only today, it is also possible to have both
          versions (FF2 and FF3) run side by side independently, that is, the
          settings of each not interfering with the other.

          For that, the method in
          "http://www.idizyn.com/development/installing-multiple-versions-of-firefox/"
          works fine also for one of the two being the recent FF3 .

          I had FF3 installed in "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\" , then I
          got FF2 installed (using custom option while installation) in
          "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox-2\". Launching the two installations
          one after another *without* the additional steps as set out in above
          "Idizyn" site would only give us both as the same version as the first
          one launched.

          To have them run independent of each other we need to set separate
          profiles and also separate batch (.bat) files to launch them as in the
          Idizyn site. Here are the steps:

          i) For brevity in our discussions, let us assume that the FF3 is
          installed in FOLDER3 (which can be for example "C:\Program
          Files\Mozilla Firefox\) and FF2 in FOLDER2.

          ii) Launch one of the two (say the FF3) from "Start-->Run" cage with
          ProfileManager flag as in the following:

          "FOLDER3\firefox" -ProfileManager

          For FOLDER3 in the above substitute the correct path (C:\Program
          Files\Mozilla Firefox\ in my case) and also note that the command is
          enclosed with quotes. Run that command when neither of the Firefox
          versions is running. Then the command launches Profile Manager.

          Create two profiles say "FF3Prof" and "FF2Prof" respectively. You
          needn't have to change the default folder in which the profile files
          are created. Just create the profiles and then close the browser.

          iii) Next with Notepad create two batch files say "MyFF3.bat" and
          "MyFF2.bat" on Desktop or in any folder of your choice

          The statements in "MyFF3.bat" are as follows:

          @echo off
          set MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1
          start "" "FOLDER3\firefox.exe" -P "FF3Prof"
          set MOZ_NO_REMOTE=0

          (In the above replace FODLER3 with the correct path name of the folder
          having the FF-3 installation )

          and in the file MyFF2.bat :

          @echo off
          set MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1
          start "" "FOLDER2\firefox.exe" -P "FF2Prof"
          set MOZ_NO_REMOTE=0

          (Replace FOLDER2 with the correct path name of the folder having the
          FF-2 installation)

          Now launching MyFF2.bat and MyFF3.bat one after another you can have
          both versions running simultaneously!

          While that could be a solution for having both FF2 (because of need to
          surf to TSCII sites) and FF3 (because we want to use the latest
          mostly), as you have pointed out pretty soon we will have to phase out
          FF-2 altogether.

          Well the same procedure can be made use of for having two different
          profiles for FF3 - one for setting the TSCII fonts for "Western" and
          the other for usually preferred unicode fonts for the same. In fact I
          found that I need no further profiles to be created other than the
          "default" (which is launched when the desktop icon for FF3 created
          when FF3 was installed, is clicked) and the above FF3Prof (which is
          launched by running MyFF3.bat).

          In FF3 launched with "default" I have set the fonts to be like Arial
          Unicode MS for Proportional and Courier New for Monospace with
          "Unicode (UTF-8)" as default encoding for Western. In FF3 launched
          with the other profile, FF3Prof, the fonts are set to TSCu_Paranar
          and "Western (ISO-8859-1)" as default encoding for Western. Thus I
          would use FF3 with "default profile" for most cases but with FF3Prof
          for looking at TSCII sites.

          Of course as I mentioned in the beginning, on reaching or reloading in
          FF-3 a web site having TSCII content , the need to manually change
          view encoding from "User Defined" to "Western (ISO-8859-1)" is
          unavoidable. And thus the latest FF-3 has gone a step backwards with
          regard to supporting TSCII.

          >> Since TSCII is officially one of the charsets included in the IETF-
          >> IANA international registry of charsets, I pleaded in the TSCII list
          >> for some of the software developers to come forward and write
          >> plug-ins for popular browsers so that TSCII-based pages are
          >> still readble on the Net. Sadly no one came forward to my knowledge.
          >>

          >> I have not checked webpages based on TAB or TAM that also
          >> use "user-defined" encoding with Firefox 3.0. But my guess is
          >> that the situation will be the same as with TSCII.

          Haven't checked on TAB and TAM yet but I also guess the situtation will be same.

          There is another option which is what I usually make use of when on
          rare occasions I have to look at TSCII or TAB (or even TAM) sites -
          that is using converters. The Adhiyan plug-in (for Firefox and other
          Mozilla products) by Thagadoor Gopi is good. You can install it from
          http://adhiyan.mozdev.org/installation.html. I have found it to work
          fine with TSCII sites in Project Madurai and TAB sites under TamilVU.
          When that is used say on a TSCII site, one chooses TSCII--> ஒருங்குறி
          in the converter menu (which is revealed on mouse right click followed
          by click on menu item "அதியன்" ) and also the View-->Character
          Encoding has to be set to Western (ISO-8859-1) or Western
          (Windows-1252) and not Unicode (UTF-8) ! - although the converted
          content can be checked and verified to be made of unicode codepoints
          only!.


          >>
          >> There is a genuine risk that Tamil content on the Net based
          >> on TAB, TAM and TSCII become non-readable without a valid
          >> browser in the near future (6-months to a year). We do have
          >> tons of Tamil information on the Net based on these 8-bit
          >> bilingual encodings and it will be disaster to let them go
          >> as "non-readable" stuff on the Net.
          >>
          >> Since TAB, TAM encodings were officially launched by TN Govt,.
          >> it will be nice if TN Govt takes initiatives to provide web-browser
          >> support for these encodings (thereby TSCII support too) .
          >>
          >> I am well aware that there is trend in the IT world to move to
          >> Unicode. If the Tamil situation in Unicode is decided oen way
          >> or the other sooner it will be better.
          >>

          I fully agree.

          >> anbudan
          >> Kalyan
          >>

          ~சேது
        • Saravana
          Kalyan, Following Firefox extensions helps converting TSCII/TAB/TAM encoded text to unicode, Padma http://padma.mozdev.org/
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 1, 2008
            Kalyan,
            Following Firefox extensions helps converting TSCII/TAB/TAM encoded text to
            unicode,
            Padma
            http://padma.mozdev.org/
            https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/873
            http://saravan.blogspot.com/2005/11/padma-freedom-from-fonts.html

            Adhiyan
            https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3864

            Padma supports converts text in two ways, automatic and manual. If the font
            name and the website is configured, then Padma automatically transforms the
            encoded text to Unicode. If the font is not supported but the encoding is
            supported, then you can select the text and right click to find options to
            transfroming the text to unicode. TAB, TAM and TSCII encodings are supported
            by Padma. Adiyan also have similar functionality.

            I have been using Firefox and Padma to view TAB, TAM and TSCII encoded text
            without using installing any fonts.

            Thanks
            Saravanan

            On Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 2:42 AM, K. Kalyanasundaram <kalyan.geo@...>wrote:

            > Dear Promads:
            >
            > During the weekend, I updated the Firefox browser running on my
            > Windows XP Pro PC to the latest version Firefox 3.0 and find to my
            > dismay that this new beast 3.0 does not handle TSCII-based
            > webpages correctly any more.
            >
            > Even though there is "user-defined" case still available in Firefox 3
            > as one of the charset for the browser, after selecting TSCII-based
            > fonts, Project Madurai web-pages based on TSCII are NOT displayed
            > correctly. I could not find any simple tweaking to get TSCII-based
            > pages to display correctly.
            >
            > So, with frustration, I "un-installed" Firefox 3 and reinstalled Firefox
            > 2.0
            > to get back status quo so that I can continue to check out TSCII-based
            > pages of PM prior to release. Fortunately Firefox 2.0 for Windows PC
            > is still available for download but the site says Firefox support for 2
            > will cease by Dec. 2008.
            >
            > Since TSCII is officially one of the charsets included in the IETF-
            > IANA international registry of charsets, I pleaded in the TSCII list
            > for some of the software developers to come forward and write
            > plug-ins for popular browsers so that TSCII-based pages are
            > still readble on the Net. Sadly no one came forward to my knowledge.
            >
            > I have not checked webpages based on TAB or TAM that also
            > use "user-defined" encoding with Firefox 3.0. But my guess is
            > that the situation will be the same as with TSCII.
            >
            > There is a genuine risk that Tamil content on the Net based
            > on TAB, TAM and TSCII become non-readable without a valid
            > browser in the near future (6-months to a year). We do have
            > tons of Tamil information on the Net based on these 8-bit
            > bilingual encodings and it will be disaster to let them go
            > as "non-readable" stuff on the Net.
            >
            > Since TAB, TAM encodings were officially launched by TN Govt,.
            > it will be nice if TN Govt takes initiatives to provide web-browser
            > support for these encodings (thereby TSCII support too) .
            >
            > I am well aware that there is trend in the IT world to move to
            > Unicode. If the Tamil situation in Unicode is decided oen way
            > or the other sooner it wil be better.
            >
            > anbudan
            > Kalyan
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


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