Submissions/How we created an script encoding converter and solved a decade-old problem

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This is an Open submission for Wikimania 2017 that has not yet been reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 3048 - C8, TC
Title of the submission
How we created an script encoding converter and solved a decade-old problem
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
Author of the submission
Subhashish Panigrahi
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Odia Wikimedia community/Mozilla
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Odia language is one of those languages where a vast majority of the typeset are still done in typefaces that are predominantly non-Unicode. From print to television media to government portals and even web portals get their typeset done in these non-standard ASCII typefaces. When our limited but continuous effort to push for use of Unicode failed, we tried to provide an interim solution—a script encoding converter that converts several popular encodings into Unicode. We not just used online outreach, but some of the Wikimedians even visited and persuaded small–large media houses to use our FLOSS tools and make their online content available in Unicode. Some of them listened but the journalists—who are also mostly authors—listened more and started posting in Unicode Odia on social media and chat. Though it is difficult to measure the actual number of users that are benefited, the three newspapers that have their Unicode-based content have over 500K offline readers everyday and relatively a large base of online readers.

What will attendees take away from this session?

This talk will not just help the participants dive into the complexity of non-Latin fonts and the historical baggage of pre-Unicode encoding systems, but will also elaborate about the effective use of media in general and social media in particular. The talk will also be useful to them who have been struggling to build relation with publication houses or print media.

Theme of presentation
Technology, Interface & Infrastructure
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

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  1. BDavis (WMF) (talk) 19:06, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
  2. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 11:26, 11 April 2017 (UTC)