One of the first tasks I have begun to tackle in this internship is reviewing the support Cantarell extends to languages that use the Latin alphabet. There are several languages that employ the Latin alphabet (Omniglot lists over 300 of them) and Cantarell doesn’t support them all. Supporting each of those languages would not just be a monumental task, but is also not a necessity at this moment in time. What one needs really is for the typeface family to first support the languages in which people use (or wish to use) GNOME.
According to the localization information for GNOME’s stable release 3.8 (as accessed on June 18, 2013), out of the sixty most comprehensively localized languages, a little more than half—thirty-two—use the Latin alphabet. In its current avatar, Cantarell does not support all these languages. For some the addition of just a couple of new characters would solve the problem, whereas for other languages there are many more characters that are missing. Based on information collected from sources such as Omniglot, Micheal Everson’s Alphabets of Europe project and Akira Nakanishi’s book, Writing Systems of the World, I have worked out a simple spreadsheet that maps accented and other characters against the top sixty localized languages to quickly illustrate what is missing in Cantarell.
This is work-in-progress. I am currently raising bugs that specifically list the glyphs that need to be added to the typeface family to support a particular language. Bugs for Danish, Slovak, Vietnamese and Serbian are already up, and a few more will follow soon. Once it has been ascertained exactly what is missing, I will get down to adding the required glyphs.