Telugu RTS with IIIMF

Suraj N. Kurapati

The RTS code-table in action.

Please note that future development of this work (including Telugu RTS for SCIM) can be found at the Swecha localization project’s wiki and also at Wikipedia. Also, this article was originally written during the fall of 2004.

  1. Motivation
    1. Screenshots
      1. Files
        1. Resources
        2. Installation
          1. Path to the UNIT LE
            1. Path to fonts
              1. Installation procedure
              2. Common problems and solutions
                1. Enable languages in the UNIT LE
                  1. Enable proper Indic font-rendering in Mozilla
                    1. Kickstart the UNIT LE


                    For several months, I had been using the Yudit program’s Roman-to-Indic transliteration engine, which is based upon the Rice Transliteration Standard (RTS) for writing text in Telugu. I often wondered, “Wouldn’t it be great if such functionality existed in all programs?”

                    Luckily, I soon found out about the existence of exactly such capability, via the Internet Intranet Input Method Framework (IIIMF) Unicode Table (UNIT) Language Engine (LE), from the Fedora Core release notes. Whilst investigating the IIIMF website, I found some screenshots and was immediately impressed!

                    However, when I went to try out the IIIMF UNIT LE in person, I was disappointed to find that the existing Telugu IIIMF code-table merely re- mapped the keyboard according to the INSCRIPT specification. Frustrated and empowered to add transliteration support for Telugu, I adapted the RTS key-map from Yudit into a code-table usable by the IIIMF. I have submitted the code-table to the IIIMF UNIT LE group where it is currently under review.





                    The following instructions pertain mostly to the Fedora Core GNU/Linux distribution. However, the process should be quite similar on all GNU/Linux distributions.

                    Before we get started, install the necessary IIIMF packages as the super user (root):

                    yum install 'iiimf**'

                    Path to the UNIT LE

                    The $UNIT variable will be used to keep track of the path to your UNIT LE installation.

                    Path to fonts

                    The $FONT variable will be used to keep track of the path to your X server’s fonts directory.

                    Installation procedure

                    1. Download the Indic fonts and extract them into $FONT. Note that you do not need to be logged-in as root for this part if you are installing fonts into your home directory.

                      mkdir $FONT
                      tar -vzxf indic-otf-0.2.tar.gz
                      cp -iv indic/OpenType/**ttf $FONT
                      mkfontscale $FONT
                      mkfontdir $FONT
                    2. Download the Telugu RTS code-table and convert it into a binary format using the txt2bin utility:

                      $UNIT/common/txt2bin telugu_rts.utf
                    3. As the super user (root), copy the binary code-table file into the IIIMF UNIT locale directory:

                      cp $UNIT/TELUGU/data/
                    4. As the super user (root), edit the $UNIT/sysime.cfg file so that its “[ te_IN ]” section appears like the following.

                      [ te_IN ]
                      telugu_rts common/ TELUGU
                      inscript common/ TELUGU
                    5. As the super user (root), restart the IIIMF server:

                      /sbin/service iiim restart
                    6. Exit out of your graphical desktop environment if any are currently running.

                    7. Restart the X server by pressing the Control, Alt, and Backspace keys simultaneously, or by executing the following command as the super user (root):

                      /sbin/telinit 3 && /sbin/telinit 5

                    Common problems and solutions

                    Enable languages in the UNIT LE

                    If you see no languages or only some languages listed in the “Add or Remove languages” window of the GIMLET client program, then the following will be of interest to you.

                    As noted in Fedora’s IIIMF FAQ, if you use a locale that is not associated with a certain language, and want to use IIIMF to write in that language, then run the following commands and restart the X server (see instructions above).

                    mkdir ~/.xinput.d
                    ln -s /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/iiimf ~/.xinput.d/default

                    Now you should be able to write in any language, regardless of which locale you are currently using.

                    Enable proper Indic font-rendering in Mozilla

                    As stated in the Fedora Core 3 release notes, you can enable the beautiful rendering of indic fonts in Mozilla by setting the following environment variable before running it, or by placing the following in your shell’s resource file (in my case, this file is ~/.bashrc because I use the GNU BASH shell):

                    export MOZ_ENABLE_PANGO=1

                    Kickstart the UNIT LE

                    In Fedora Core 3, the GIMLET client sometimes fails to enable the language in which I want to write in. The following crude procedure (alike whacking an old television set on its side when its picture is distorted) seems to make it work again, most of the time.

                    As root, I repeatedly jump-start the IIIMF server until it reports that it has succeeded in disabling and re-enabling itself:

                    # service iiim restart
                    Stopping IIIMF input server:  [  OK  ]
                    Starting IIIMF input server:  [  OK  ]