Archive for August, 2009

Persian Fonts in Fedora, PPTP VPN support in F12 by default, Tex Live 2009 and XePersian

Fedora usually provides latest version of softwares with their new features. I really like the fact that I usually should not download latest softwares manually to use their new features. But one exception in this area was TexLive. Currently, the latest version of TexLive in Fedora repositories is TexLive 2007. Fortunately, TexLive 2009 is coming to Fedora (TexLive Fedora Feature) and I’m really interested in that specially that it’ll bring XePersian to Fedora. It’ll allow us to create Persian documents with Tex and it was introduced in TexLive 2008. I was so interested that I added its experimental repository and installed it on my Laptop. Finally, I managed to compile and view some XePersian sample files! 🙂

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As far as I know, currently the only Fedora font which completely supports Persian is DejaVu. There are some Arabic fonts but they do not support Persian completely, and so they are unusable for Persian users. They are many beautiful Persian fonts, which every Persian user will need to have on his system. Considering the availability of XePersian in Fedora, the need for nice Persian fonts are even more serious.

Well, I decided to expand my Fedora involvement by packaging some Persian fonts for Fedora (after that I’ll probably jump into Yum world, which is currently “broken by design” in many aspects for every desktop user except people with a fast, always available internet connection! but that’ll need some free time…).
The fonts that I’m currently considering are Farsiweb fonts and IRMUG’s X Series 2 fonts. If you know other nice Persian fonts with a suitable license, please let me know.
In addition to Persian, these fonts provide support for these languages:
Arabic, Azerbaijani (as written in the Arabic script), Urdu, Pashto, Dari, Uzbek, Kurdish, Uighur, old Turkish (Ottoman) and modern Turkish (Roman). X Series 2 fonts support Latin for the sake of completeness.

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If you access Internet through PPTP vpn connection, you’ll certainly like this: according to bug #517297 , Fedora 12 media (DVD and Desktop LiveCD) will contain NetworkManager PPTP plugin by default, so you don’t need to download and install NetworkManager-pptp separately in order to access Internet using Fedora 12. I was amazed how fast it happened, and I wondered why I didn’t do it sooner! 😛

Have fun! 🙂

Do you know ANY free/opensource mail client with proper support for RTL languages?!

I didn’t find one! Currently I use Thunderbird with BiDi Mail extension, but it’s not good. This extension is not updated for latest Thunderbird 3 Beta, and it is buggy there. But anyway, I still use it as other alternatives are not better too.

I wonder why none of these mail clients support that! Thunderbird should support it by default. At least, mail clients should have buttons for setting the paragraph direction. This is not a big request! Adding 2 buttons for setting paragraph direction in HTML messages is not too much IMHO!

Evolution: it doesn’t provide the buttons too, but it tries to automatically detect paragraph directions and put correct HTML tags for it. Well, till now, it’s good. But it has another problem: I tell it to use UTF-8 encoding, but it doesn’t care! It encodes Persian characters using HTML unicode characters, which is not desirable as it increases the size of email considerably. I’ve filled a bug against it long ago, but there is no activity to solve it. Interesting!

KMail: Do not provide any kind of support for RTL languages AFAIK.

Well, it seems that I’ve not tried anything else! Do you know a good email client which supports RTL languages correctly?!

Installing Conexant full speed modem driver on Fedora 11 and later

I found that some people have problem installing this driver on Fedora 11 (using available guidelines in Internet for Ubuntu), so I decided to try installing it on my system (which has a Conexant HSF modem chipset). I could install and use the driver successfully, but I think its license doesn’t allow me to distribute the final modified RPM package. So, I decided to create a simple shell script to create the package and put it here. (I wonder if we should put such documents inside Fedora wiki or not. Maybe I should communicate with Fedora Documentation people about it or read about contributing there?! Or maybe it is as easy as creating a new Wiki page there…)

Anyway, These are the steps to build a free full speed Conexant modem driver:

1. Download .tar.gz file of the free full speed driver release by dell from http://linux.dell.com/files/ubuntu/hardy/modem-drivers/hsf/ (Download this file for 64 bit Fedora systems(x86_64) and this one for 32 bit(Fedora-i386,i586 or i686) systems)

2. Download the latest modem driver from Linuxant (.tar.gz version). However notice that the following script is written for version 7.80.02.04, for later versions this script should be modified. So, to use this script without modification, you should download this file for 64bit Fedora and this one for 32 bit ones. Edit: download the latest version from here.

3. Download this script, put it beside those downloaded files and run the script  (If you run it as a regular user – which is recommended – you might need to run rpmdev-setuptree command first).

4. Now, you should be able to find the final RPM in ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64 (or ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/i586).

5. If you have an HDA modem, you must install Linuxant alsa driver from http://www.linuxant.com/alsa-driver/. *Update: If you did not install this package and encountered sound problems after installing the hsf modem driver, you should probably install this package.

6. Now, you can install the generated rpm package. You might need to restart the system before using your modem. You can check your modem by running minicom to see if it can communicate with your modem.

Update: This script works fine on Fedora 11 and later. It has been successfully tested on Fedora 12 and Fedora 13. I’ll try to make sure that it works on future version of Fedora too.

Good luck!