[OSM-dev] [Mapnik-devel] i18n - I get angry !!

Tom Hughes tom at compton.nu
Fri Apr 18 15:53:07 BST 2008

In message <4808AF75.2070705 at datenkueche.com>
        Bernhard Zwischenbrugger <bz at datenkueche.com> wrote:

> But there are so many problems!

Essentially none of which are really mapnik problems, so please take
this to an OSM list where it belongs.

> 1.) Potlatch shows only rectangles instead of letters.

You'll need to talk to RichardF about that, but he's on holiday at the

> 2.) tiles at home works if all fonts are installed - but if somebody 
> rerenders the tile, the text is gone. There are also many rendering 
> mistakes even if the font is installed.

So offer to help improve the software. Don't just demand that somebody
else fixes it - that isn't how this open thing works.

One major problem with T at H will be that it is hard to ensure that
everybody that is rendering tiles has the same fonts installed.

> 3.) Mapnik doesn't support Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, Thai, Myanmar,...

Well it does actually if you give it a font that has the necessary

> It would be so easy to install the fonts but the responsible people just 
> don't do it

If if was that easy we would have done it. Do you really think that
we're just doing this to annoy you? No of course we're not - it's a
hard problem and there are a limited number of people working on 
these things.

Now if you can name me a font that has support for all the above
characters and all the ones we already have then I'm sure we will
gladly look at using it. As far as we know such a font does not

Which leads me to the one place where there is a genuine issue
with the mapnik software (and hence the only thing that is actually
on topic for this list) and that is that there is (currently) no
support for fallback fonts in mapnik, so you can't give it a list
of fonts to try when looking for a character.

Hence at the moment we have to choose one font that has the best
range of coverage.

> If the fonts are installed, there are still many problems to solve. In 
> Lao and Khmer (the languages I can read) there are many rendering 
> problems to solve.

As far as I know, at least for the mapnik layer, the other text
related issues (shaping, right-to-left text, etc) should be solved
in the current mapnik code, but please correct me if I'm wrong.


Tom Hughes (tom at compton.nu)

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