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Old 02-06-2015, 10:43 AM   #1
mamado
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Kobo book titles in Arabic

Hi,

I have few Arabic books in pdf and epub and Arabic articles in Pocket, I added few fonts to the device (Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Symplified Arabic) and the contents of the epub books and Pocket articles are now readable.

I have two problems though:

1- The book titles are unreadable.

If the book title and author are in Arabic, The library view show only the author name, and shows blocks (rectangles) instead of characters for the title.
Is there a way to properly show the titles?



2- There is no way to search the library using arabic characters, as I couldn't find a way to enable Arabic in the keyboard.
Can you please let me know how to enable arabic keyboard?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Best Regards,
Mohamed.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:49 AM   #2
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I think that the first problem is that the font used in displaying the book titles doesn't support Arabic though the one used for author does.
Given kobo's excellent reputation for customization options, I was wondering if there is a way to change the font used for book titles?
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:05 AM   #3
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It might be possible to fix the titles by patching the firmware. Can you point to a free example book with an Arabic title that I could use for testing?

Edit: From what it looks like on my Glo, the Title is in Georgia/italic, Series in Avenir/normal, and Author in Georgia/normal. So maybe changing Title and Series to Georgia/normal will let it work in Arabic.

Russian users had a similar problem with the keyboard not supporting Cyrillic, and they were able to make a patch to add Cyrillic characters to the keyboard. It might be possible to do this for Arabic too, but it probably requires someone who knows both Arabic and how to create patches.

Last edited by GeoffR; 02-09-2015 at 02:45 AM. Reason: From what it looks like on my Glo, ...
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:04 AM   #4
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I have a patch for firmware 3.12.1 that fixes the Arabic title problem by changing the title font style from italic to normal. See this thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...1&postcount=17
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
It might be possible to fix the titles by patching the firmware. Can you point to a free example book with an Arabic title that I could use for testing?
You can download one from here http://www.hindawi.org/books/6818491...7%D8%B1%D8%A9/
You should find a green obvious epub link for download, this site has a good list of free and out-of-print arabic books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
Edit: From what it looks like on my Glo, the Title is in Georgia/italic, Series in Avenir/normal, and Author in Georgia/normal. So maybe changing Title and Series to Georgia/normal will let it work in Arabic.
Can you please educate me on how to see this info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
I have a patch for firmware 3.12.1 that fixes the Arabic title problem by changing the title font style from italic to normal. See this thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...1&postcount=17
This is great, Thanks you.
  • I followed the instructions here
  • Added your patch to libnickel.so.1.0.0.patch (and disabled most others) but all arabic information (Title and author) are unreadable!
  • I redid the steps disabling all patches, and found the same behavior! (Title and author not visible), I opened an Arabic book played with the fonts, went back and found the author info readable again!
  • So I redid the steps again, now enabling your patch, opened library view, found all info unreadable, opened a book, then went back to library view and found the Title and Author info correctly readable

I am not sure what happened, but Thanks a lot.

btw, Is there a way to be able to search for info in Arabic?
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
Russian users had a similar problem with the keyboard not supporting Cyrillic, and they were able to make a patch to add Cyrillic characters to the keyboard. It might be possible to do this for Arabic too, but it probably requires someone who knows both Arabic and how to create patches.
I think you are talking about the patch titled patch_name = `Cyrillic keyboard`

from what I see in the patches, they work by replacing words in hex, and this one in particular seems to replace ASCII characters C3 xx with D[0|1] xx

If you can give me a list of which character is which in the C3 list, and how to know the hex for an arabic character (is it the hex of the unicode value?) I can give it a try.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamado View Post
[*]Added your patch to libnickel.so.1.0.0.patch (and disabled most others) but all arabic information (Title and author) are unreadable! [*]I redid the steps disabling all patches, and found the same behavior! (Title and author not visible), I opened an Arabic book played with the fonts, went back and found the author info readable again! [*]So I redid the steps again, now enabling your patch, opened library view, found all info unreadable, opened a book, then went back to library view and found the Title and Author info correctly readable [/LIST]
I am not sure what happened, but Thanks a lot.
I think the problem is that Arabic is not one of the languages supported in the UI, so the Arabic fonts are not loaded by default when the device first starts. But after you open a book (and maybe select a font from the Aa menu?) then the Arabic fonts are loaded and available to the UI too.

(I'm not sure exactly how the Arabic fonts work, whether the Georgia font contains Arabic glyphs, or the UI is substituting the Arabic glyphs from another font such as Gothic. Whichever way, it seems there are no italic Arabic glyphs available to the UI, only regular ones)

Quote:
btw, Is there a way to be able to search for info in Arabic?
I will have a look at how the Cyrillic keyboard patch works and see if I can adapt it to Arabic, but I can't promise anything.)
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamado View Post
from what I see in the patches, they work by replacing words in hex, and this one in particular seems to replace ASCII characters C3 xx with D[0|1] xx

If you can give me a list of which character is which in the C3 list, and how to know the hex for an arabic character (is it the hex of the unicode value?) I can give it a try.
I think most of the replacement values are the UTF-16 characters, but there is some other things too. I've never tried this patch, and I don't read either Cyrillic or Arabic, so I think the only way to work it out is to enable the Cyrillic keyboard patch and see which characters need to be replaced.

Edit: Or are they UTF-8? Anyway, that is the area I don't know about, I never knew anything but ASCII until very recently, so you can probably work it out better than I can.

Last edited by GeoffR; 02-09-2015 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Or UTF-8?
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:07 PM   #9
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I've tried the Cyrillic keyboard (screenshots attached), but I can't work out how the Cyrillic characters are encoded, so no Idea how to convert to Arabic.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:32 PM   #10
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Here is the Cyrillic keyboard patch for an earlier firmware version in the original kpg.exe format:
Code:
<Patch>
patch_name = `Cyrillic keyboard`
patch_enable = `no`
# Enable uppercase for [] key
replace_bytes = AAF640, 00 24, 01 24
# Replace layout sign
replace_string = 112AAA8, ``, `абв`
# Change keyboard layout
replace_utf8chars = 112AE60, ``, `йцукенгшщзхъ`
replace_utf8chars = 112AE90, ``, `фывапролджэё`
replace_utf8chars = 112AEC0, `đijł`, `ячсмитьбю.`
</Patch>
If someone can replace the Cyrillic characters here with the Arabic ones that should appear in their place, with reference to the screenshots above, then I can probably update the patch for the current firmware.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Code:
# Replace layout sign
replace_string = 112AAA8, ``, `абв`
# Change keyboard layout
replace_utf8chars = 112AE60, ``, `йцукенгшщзхъ`
replace_utf8chars = 112AE90, ``, `фывапролджэё`
replace_utf8chars = 112AEC0, `đijł`, `ячсмитьбю.`
Code:
`абв` -> `ع`
`йцукенгшщзхъ` -> `دجحخهعغفقثصذ`
`фывапролджэё` -> `طكمنتالبيسشض`
`ячсмитьбю.` -> `ظزوةىرؤءئ.`
Note that there are different shapes for characters depending on whether they are in the beginning or middle of a word, I hope that it all translates to a single hex, and the font handles that, but I am not sure.

Thanks a lot for your help.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:08 AM   #12
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Thanks, I've posted an Arabic keyboard patch for firmware 3.12.1 in the developers forum: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=20.
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Last edited by GeoffR; 02-10-2015 at 03:33 AM. Reason: Added screenshots
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:27 AM   #13
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Thanks a lot GeoffR, it is working great with couple of minor issues, I added more details and answers to your questions on the other thread http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=21
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:51 PM   #14
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Thank you mamado for this thread and GeoffR for the patch, I'm thinking of importing a Kobo and wanted to make sure it works.

Is there a similar keyboard patch for Hebrew? That would be really great.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:48 AM   #15
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Is there a similar keyboard patch for Hebrew? That would be really great.
I could make a Hebrew keyboard patch too, all I need is someone who knows Hebrew to say where the letters should go, and what the name of the ABC key should be.

The easiest way (for me) might be to look at the screenshot of the QWERTY keyboard in the posts above, and then list each Hebrew unicode character together with the Latin key, e.g. q=א, etc.

The key positions that can easily be changed are:
12
qwertyuiop-
asdfghjkl@_
zxcvbnm,.

Last edited by GeoffR; 02-11-2015 at 01:51 AM.
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