This is a Beta1 release of the Awami Nastaliq font.

Instructions for providing feedback

As the font is getting close to completion, we are looking to fine-tune the behavior and appearance. We are interested in:

  • letter shape changes
  • adjustments to nuqtas, diacritics, and similar marks
  • spacing and kerning adjustments

For a complex style like Nastaliq, there are always many improvements that can be made, so we need to be able to accurately prioritize all the requested changes. For this reason, we ask that you label each item in your feedback with one of following rankings:

  • bug fix (e.g., missing or incorrect nuqtas, letters not connecting properly, collisions)
  • essential (something that affects whether or not you would be able to use the font)
  • legibility issue
  • style issue
  • attractiveness issue
  • low priority suggestion

Keep in mind that we might not be able to implement a suggestion depending on how invasive the required changes would be and how they would affect the overall design of the font.

Hand-tweaking

In particular, you may see a word where the nuqtas or other marks are not positioned ideally or the spacing is not the best. We can hand-tweak some words, but we can only afford to do this for the most important cases. As you report these kinds of problems, please indicate both (a) how serious a problem the current behavior is (as indicated above), AND (b) how common a word or sequence it is, using the following labels:

  • common (a word or letter sequence that might appear on every page of a book or document)
  • occasional
  • rare (a word or letter sequence that might appear once or twice)

It makes sense to hand-tweak a small problem if it is in a very common word, or a big problem even if the word is not very common.

How to give us actionable feedback

The more specific you can be when providing feedback, the more accurately we can implement your suggested changes. Although it may initially take more time, it will save time overall if you can somehow quantify changes that you would like to see, or make a comparison. Here are some examples:

  • If you’d like a stroke to be heavier, say whether it should be about, e.g. 20% heavier, or twice as thick, etc., or compare it to another character where the stroke is the correct weight. Try to avoid wording like “make it a little thicker,” “move it up a little,” etc.

  • If you know of another font that has a better shape, attach a screenshot at 100pt.

  • If it’s easier to sketch than describe, make a screenshot at 100pt and use a paint or drawing program to sketch the desired shape changes in red; or mark up a printout and scan or photograph it.

  • What you see on your computer may be different from what we see on ours; attaching a screenshot is often helpful in giving context to your comments.

This kind of feedback gives us a clearer indication of what you see in your mind’s eye, and will reduce misunderstandings.

Specific questions

  • Let us know if you have need for:
    • more Arabic-style punctuation (parentheses, quotes)
    • an Arabic-style colon in the context of European digits
    • alternate shapes for the end of ayah
    • U+0640 ARABIC TATWEEL for linguistic purposes
  • How should the nuqtas be positioned on the final and isolate forms of these characters?
    • U+06FB DAD WITH DOT BELOW
    • U+069C SEEN WITH THREE DOTS BELOW AND THREE DOTS ABOVE
    • U+06A5 FEH WITH THREE DOTS BELOW
    • U+0696 REH WITH DOT BELOW AND DOT ABOVE (lower and more to the left?)
  • Is the size of the initial kaf/keheh/gaf before the final lam the correct size or is it too small?

  • Is the height of the lam-alef combinations too high? It is somewhat taller than the other lams.

Known issues

  • There were a few reported spacing/positioning issues that were not addressed. This is because they involved special cases that need to be carefully prioritized with the many possible tweaks that could improve the font. Please report problems you see according the feedback guidelines.
  • Height of kafs and gafs is still an issue, as well as overall word height in some cases.
  • The Arabic digits 4, 6, and 7 are the not the correct shapes.
  • U+0647 Arabic letter heh – all forms look like U+06C1
  • U+067C Arabic letter teh with ring – does not look good in some contexts
  • We have tentative plans to add U+0640 (tatweel) to be used as a morpheme boundary marker for linguistic data; however we need more detailed specifications as to how it should behave.

Changes since alpha-2 release

  • Added remaining characters:
    • honorifics
    • end of ayah, page sign, number sign, year sign, etc.
    • Allah ligature
    • ornate parentheses
    • U+06FB DAD WITH DOT BELOW
    • U+069C SEEN WITH THREE DOTS BELOW AND THREE DOTS ABOVE
    • U+06A5 FEH WITH THREE DOTS BELOW
    • many formatting characters such as dashes, spaces, etc.
  • “Show invisible characters” feature will show left-to-right mark, pop-directional-formatting, etc.
  • Added new feature: Arabic-style hamza
  • Scaled Latin characters to better match Nastaliq
  • Colon and exclamation mark have an Arabic style after Arabic characters
  • Made seen teeth even more distinct
  • Improved digit spacing
  • Improved medial ain and waw connections
  • Fixed various bugs
  • Improved some spacing issues

Files included in beta-1 release

  • Awami_beta1.ttf – the Awami Nastaliq Beta1 font
  • Awami_beta1.woff – font for use on web sites
  • Awami_beta1.pdf – shows glyphs and metrics
  • test data
    • RandomWords.odt/pdf/xml – a short list of words in small, medium, and large font sizes to show the basic shapes of all the letters
      • note that ftml_wf.xsl must be located in the same directory as RandomWords.xml
    • language data – UDHR text and word lists in various languages
    • letter combinations – xml files that can be shown in Firefox demonstrating contextual forms; also corresponding PDFs
      • note that ftml.xsl must be located in the same directory as .xml files