Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Quick test for Ancient Egyptian in web browsers (September 2010)

A quick test note to check Ancient Egyptian in Web browsers.

If you have a (Unicode 5.2 compatible) Egyptian font installed on your system, the next few lines ought to make sense:


(in MdC this Egyptian transliteration reads +taa*AA*iIwWbBpPfFmMnNrRhh*HH*xx*XX*ss*SS*qq*kKgGtt*TT*dd*DD*)


(in MdC these Egyptian hieroglyphs read +s-A-i-y-a-w-b-p-f-m-n-r-h-H-x-X-s-S-q-k-g-t-T-d-D)

In fact, this is a FAIL for hieroglyphs today on Windows for Chrome (6.0.472.63), Firefox (3.6.10) Internet Explorer 9 (Beta 9.0.7930), and Safari (5.0.2). Only Firefox successfully displays the transliteration.

Tantalizingly, the Firefox edit box does work:

Technically, all a browser needs to do is ennumerate all fonts on the host system and if the font implicit in the HTML is not present, use any font that supports the characters if available. Perhaps there needs to be some magic setting in the TrueType fonts for the browsers to work although this ought not to be necessary so I will count this as a multi-browser bug.

The lines should read:

Update. This site, Blogger, turned my HTML hieroglyph strings into entities, e.g. hieroglyphs in UTF-8 into  �� etc. Firebox has a bug in this case (entities in Unicode SMP) but not when raw UTF-8 is used in HTML so Firefox is very close to working, indeed it is good for many web pages. Blogger is a bit broken, the entities are simply confusing and bring nothing to the party.

1 comment:

  1. After further investigation, it transpires that Firefox 3.6 (and Firefox 4 Beta 6) work fine with transliteration and hieroglyphs. Well done Mozilla!

    However there is a problem with the editing software here on blogspot.com which causes incorrect HTML to be generated: apparently �� is an incorrect way of representing Unicode character codes > 0x0FFFF.

    Unfortunately since Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari all process this invalid format, I mistakenly took this to be a bug in Firefox rather than a bug in the other three.

    To avoid the Blospot bug, see http://jtotobsc.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/test-page-for-ancient-egyptian-hieroglyphs-in-unicode-september-2010/.