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ዋዜማ፡ሥርዐት•Wazéma System•Wazéma Système

ኢትዮጵያዊ፡የማስሊያ፡መጻፊያ፡ሥርዐት•Ethiopian Computer Writing System•système d'écriture informatique éthiopien

(to view the Amharic text, install the Wazéma Unicode fonts) and set your browser’s default Ethiopic font

Wazéma System•Wazéma Système

As we stand today (2002፡ዓ.ም./ 2009-2010 A.D.), most computers are coming with Ethiopic fonts pre-installed, be they running under Windows, Linux, Apple operating systems.

Microsoft Windows’ Vista operating system offers a single font with Ethiopic characters; it is called “Nyala”. All previous versions of Windows (NT, 2000, XP) did not have fonts with Ethiopic characters; therefore, if you have not already installed the freely available and Unicode compatible Wazéma fonts (A0 Addis Abeba Unicode, A0 Desta Unicode, A0 Tesfa Unicode) on your PC, your are more likely to see Ethiopic text displayed

  • in the Nyala font (if you have the Windows Vista operating system);
  • or meaningless text made up of empty rectangular boxes in place of Ethiopic characters (if you are running older versions of Windows operating system).

In the first case (Vista operating system), you will see all Ethiopic text displayed with the default Nyala font which has less than perfect metrics for Ethiopic as the example below shows:

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_defaultNyala

On the above sample, the Ethiopic characters on the margins are too small, and those in the main text body too condensed, including the separators (space, comma, etc). Now, if you install the Wazéma fonts and set “A0 Desta Unicode” as your default Ethiopic font for your browser, this is how you would see the above example page:

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_A0DestaSet

In addition to having the texts displayed in their original fonts, you will notice that they are more readable, and separators have better metrics.

Here is another sample showing an Ethiopic text displayed with a Wazéma font (A0 Desta Unicode) and a Microsoft font (Nyala):

s_GA_DestaVsNyala_1

The Nyala-displayed text is hyper-condensed with poor lisibility, and furthest from actual Ethiopic publication norms. The Wazéma font (A0 Desta Unicode) on the other hand, is visibly closest to publication fonts, with better proportioned and aligned characters, more symmetric and better spaced separators, better Latin to Ethiopic size ratios, all contributing to improved lisibility.

Nyala uses a “double dot” as gemination mark following the Unicode “convention”, but in complete disregard to the traditional “single dot” gemination mark which Wazéma fonts implement rightly. An attempt was made to bring the issue to the attention of the Unicode Consortium and community through their mailing list; unfortunately and sadly, Wazema System has been systematically removed from the mailing list since the release of its version 1.5! This is all symptomatic of the general state of affairs: foreign designs will continue to be implemented on Ethiopia and her people, so long as Ethiopia and her people have not reasserted their sovereignty; (... to a general problem a general solution).

For those who do not know how to set the default Ethiopic font for their browser, here is how it is done for Internet Explorer v.7, assuming that you have already installed the Wazéma fonts on your PC (download and extract the Wazéma executable, then from C:\Wazéma folder drag and drop the Wazéma fonts into the C:\WINDOWS\FONT folder of your PC):

First, click on the TOOLS menu and INTERNET OPTIONS sub-menu, as shown below;

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_A0DestaSettingOptions1

Then click the FONTS button to reach the font selection dialog;

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_A0DestaSettingOptions2

From the fonts selection dialog you have two options: either you select a given font both for Latin and Ethiopic characters, or you leave the already selected Latin font as is, and change the font for Ethiopic text only. The following illustrate the second option:

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_A0DestaSettingOptions3Ethiopic

CLick on the ‘Language script’ button to display the selection pop-up menu, and select the ‘Ethiopic’ option which will, in turn, present you those fonts with Ethiopic characters, already installed on your PC. Select the Wazéma font called ‘A0 Desta Unicode’, as indicated below:

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_A0DestaSettingOptions4EthiopicA0Desta03

As you press ‘OK’, your browser adopts font ‘A0 Desta Unicode’ as your default Ethiopic font, for a much improved lisibility, as we saw earlier:

s_GA_settingBrowserFont_A0DestaSet03

http://www.gzamargna.net

Enjoy!

መሥመረኛ፡መመሪያ•online manual•manuel en-ligne (PDF)

© ወሌ፡ነጋ፥1992-2002፡ዓ.ም.።Welé Negga, 2000-2010 A.D.