Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Chat about Linux in general
Post Reply
highrock89
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by highrock89 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:58 pm

Hi. There is problem with serbian language packs on Linux. Small Cyrillic letter “b” has a strange shape (Screenshot 1). With any other language packs there is no problem (Screenshot 3). Does anybody know who created serbian language packs and who can fix that. This is correct shape of small cyrilic letter “b” (Screenshot 3). Also on Windows OS, there is no problem.
Problem exist when I choose language Serbian Cyrillic or Serbian Latin in Libre Office and Serbian Cyrillic Keyboard Input for typing text. Also, when I choose Cyrillic interface in Linux Mint, small letter “b” has strange shape (Screenshot 2). Who can fix this and where to report this problem. Once again, this is correct shape of letter “b” (Screenshot 3). Sorry for my bad English.
Attachments
Screenshot 1.jpg
Screenshot 2.jpg
Screenshot 3.jpg

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 655
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:50 pm

There the Cyrillic "Be" seems to be confused with the Greek "Delta".
Does the same effect occur if you use the Bulgarian or Russian language package?
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)

rene
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by rene » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 pm

This seems to be a font bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-font- ... ug/1770843

Both Liberation (as for your LibreOffice document) and DejaVu are mentioned as affected. Now, the interface font on Mint appears to be Noto; it also being affected might mean the Cyrillic Be is taken from a fallback font in that case, or might mean that the problem has already become so widespread that you probably need significant patience to see it definitively resolved...

However, while I can reproduce the issue in the interface on Mint 19 (your screenshot 2), I can not in LibreOffice. Ctrl+Shift+U+0431 while using the standard Liberation Serif gets me the proper "six shape" rather than the "delta shape". Same when I in fact localise my system as per your own settings in said screenshot, and same when I use the Serbian keyboard layout.

This has me wonder if I'm perhaps updated to a LibreOffice and/or font(s) version that has/have already been fixed and you not. Are you fully updated?

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 655
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:19 pm

rene wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 pm
...
Both Liberation (as for your LibreOffice document) and DejaVu are mentioned as affected.
I looked at both fonts with Font Manager "character maps" (Greek and Cyrillic) and with "special characters" in Libre Office and found no errors.
Where is the dead dog buried.. :?:
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)

User avatar
Spearmint2
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5749
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 1:41 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by Spearmint2 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:33 pm

Is that the "soft" or "hard" symbol. When I studied Russian we called that "Monkey Snot", LOL. (actually sounds phonetically like "Me-alky-znat"

whoops, thought it was this;

"soft sign" (ь) and the "hard sign" (ъ).
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

rene
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by rene » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:51 pm

absque fenestris wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:19 pm
Where is the dead dog buried.. :?:
In the through linked report mentioned "locl" adjustments for Serbian and Macedonian it seems. I.e.,

Code: Select all

pango-view --font="Liberation Serif" --text $(echo -e '\u0431') --language=sr
does indeed show me the delta-shaped Be. Same for "Noto Sans", the default Mint interface font. That then makes me wonder why I wasn't seeing the issue after localising as Serbian here, but reading Cyrillic is hard enough for me that I may have missed an option here or there I guess.

It in any case seems to confirm that this is purely a font issue, with some, many, or perhaps even most Serbian users disagreeing with the non-standard Cyrillic Be. If I were them I'd however then also quickly set about changing e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian_Cyrillic_alphabet. I do (that is) believe that us non-Serbs may need to retreat from this discussion; it seems right/wrong shape appears to be at least to some degree debatable.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 655
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:00 pm

Well - Cyril and Method's well-meant mission has not really brought Europe closer together...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)

rene
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by rene » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:36 pm

To me this in fact now looks like an issue that does follow further integration/internationalization. I.e., seems the delta-shaped Serbian Be is a recent adjustment on computers but referring to the above linked Wikipedia article --- which I note also shows the delta shape in the Serbian version and not just the English one --- does seem historically correct.

This could be one of the instances where adjusting to an increasingly global world in fact in the short run causes retreat to "pure", "traditional" values: it wouldn't be the only (smaller) part of Europe to do so. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union Serbia was as part of Yugoslavia supposedly quite used to Russian and/or Russian technology; would in said short run still have many people to whom the traditional Serbian Be looked unnatural, but Serbia does have a bit of history of traditionalism/nationalism....

In any case... font issue.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 655
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:18 pm

I asked the thread-opener if the same problems occur in Bulgarian or Russian - these languages use the same Cyrillic alphabet - as far as I know...
And if not - then Good Night for Cyrillic!
The good people can then switch directly to Mandarin or Hindi or just to the Latin alphabet... :mrgreen:

But seriously: This seems to be a simple bug in the (Serbian) keyboard layout, which can be fixed in the corresponding configuration - or do I see it too simply?
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)

rene
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by rene » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:33 pm

absque fenestris wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:18 pm
[ ... ] or do I see it too simply?
As explained, apparently so. Again...

Referring to the linked Wikipedia article, best I as non-Serb can judge is that the delta-shaped Be is at least historically the correct shape for the Serbian (and possibly Macedonian) Cyrillic alphabets. Reason some or many Serbs prefer the more standard (Bulgarian, Russian, ...) six-shaped Cyrillic Be was conjectured to possibly be a result of semi-recent cultural and technical influences from Russia. Reason for an apparently very recent retreat to the historic Be was then further conjectured to possibly be a result of (common) tribal agoraphobia.

Leaving aside conjectures, what is clear is that the issue is a font issue; as such not a Mint bug nor specific to Mint. A font issue moreover that is either simply not a bug or maybe a political/social one. Either case means the Mint forum is not the place to have the discussion: given that apparently some Serbs disagree with the historic-and-new Be shape, seems they'll need to at best take this up at the level of fonts or fontconfig... or at worst go organize a referendum.

Specifically I will furthermore feel quite free to butt out.

highrock89
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by highrock89 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:37 pm

absque fenestris wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:50 pm
There the Cyrillic "Be" seems to be confused with the Greek "Delta".
Does the same effect occur if you use the Bulgarian or Russian language package?
Thanks for reply. There is no problem for Bulgarian and Russian language packs. They have normal Cyrillic "Be".

highrock89
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by highrock89 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:50 pm

Thanks for replies. Simply, someone chose this non standard shape of letter "Be". Letter "Be" has normal shape in any other language pack, including Russian and Bulgarian packs. Problem also exist in Serbian language packs in Libre Office on Windows OS.
I hope that this will be solved in near future.

highrock89
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by highrock89 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:24 pm

rene wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:33 pm
absque fenestris wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:18 pm
[ ... ] or do I see it too simply?
As explained, apparently so. Again...

Referring to the linked Wikipedia article, best I as non-Serb can judge is that the delta-shaped Be is at least historically the correct shape for the Serbian (and possibly Macedonian) Cyrillic alphabets. Reason some or many Serbs prefer the more standard (Bulgarian, Russian, ...) six-shaped Cyrillic Be was conjectured to possibly be a result of semi-recent cultural and technical influences from Russia. Reason for an apparently very recent retreat to the historic Be was then further conjectured to possibly be a result of (common) tribal agoraphobia.

Leaving aside conjectures, what is clear is that the issue is a font issue; as such not a Mint bug nor specific to Mint. A font issue moreover that is either simply not a bug or maybe a political/social one. Either case means the Mint forum is not the place to have the discussion: given that apparently some Serbs disagree with the historic-and-new Be shape, seems they'll need to at best take this up at the level of fonts or fontconfig... or at worst go organize a referendum.

Specifically I will furthermore feel quite free to butt out.
There is no politic or social reason. Delta shape of Be is correct shape when you write that letter on paper with your hand (cursive). In printed books, there is no delta shape of Be, only six shaped. That's reason why delta shape of Be looks strange in printed version.

rene
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by rene » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:00 pm

highrock89 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:24 pm
In printed books, there is no delta shape of Be, only six shaped.
This (Serbian) information disagrees with you: https://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D1 ... 1%86%D0%B0. And I note it includes for example this picture from 1841 where definitely the Be is much more delta than six: https://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D1 ... m_1841.jpg.

As such, I believe you may be overstating/estimating objectiveness here. The delta-shape appears historically correct for the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet; while it apparently looks odd to you and, then, probably many others currently this may as conjectured mostly be the result of semi-recent strong Russian influences. Certainly it's evident that whomever changed this and got it accepted (over quite a few different fonts it seems) does not agree with you. Whether you, he/they, both or neither is/are "wrong" is something which therefore transcends pure technology; will apparently need a discussion, among Serbs, at a higher-level than a Linux Mint forum...

User avatar
thx-1138
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1289
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:15 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by thx-1138 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:00 am

rene wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 pm
.........................
...welcome to the Balkans... :)
highrock89 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:58 pm
.....................................
...thanks to rene's link to the launchpad bug report, i followed the links from there over to the freedesktop & Fedora discussions.

To keep it short, the original reporter (Macedonian),
has came up with a patch for the 'BE' character under both SRB / MKD languages.
Upstream on liberation fonts, the MKD part has been officially merged under current 2.00.4
TODO states that the next version (2.00.5?), will also implement the SRB changes.

...for the sake of simplicity, i just built the liberation fonts with dimztimz's "dual" SRB/MKD patches.
I've uploaded them to WeTransfer, the link will expire after 1 week.
With root access, you can try replacing /usr/share/fonts/truetype/liberation with those ones (or maybe place them under ~/.fonts),
then run sudo fc-cache -fv to rebuild the cache...and see if such fixes it afterwards after restarting LibreOffice.

Hopefully that does the trick for you, absolutely no guarantees though, i did such purely out of curiosity.
Furthermore, as rene already said - if such happens with the majority of widely-used fonts out there as can be seen above,
for all of them to be patched in an alternative manner...

highrock89
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Re: Strange shape of cyrillic small letter 'b'

Post by highrock89 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:07 am

rene wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:00 pm
highrock89 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:24 pm
In printed books, there is no delta shape of Be, only six shaped.
This (Serbian) information disagrees with you: https://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D1 ... 1%86%D0%B0. And I note it includes for example this picture from 1841 where definitely the Be is much more delta than six: https://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D1 ... m_1841.jpg.

As such, I believe you may be overstating/estimating objectiveness here. The delta-shape appears historically correct for the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet; while it apparently looks odd to you and, then, probably many others currently this may as conjectured mostly be the result of semi-recent strong Russian influences. Certainly it's evident that whomever changed this and got it accepted (over quite a few different fonts it seems) does not agree with you. Whether you, he/they, both or neither is/are "wrong" is something which therefore transcends pure technology; will apparently need a discussion, among Serbs, at a higher-level than a Linux Mint forum...
Delta shaped Be exist in older books and texts. Six shaped is more often in modern books and text. Probably, most of the modern texts are written in Microsoft Office on Windows with six shaped Be, and I got used to it. Generally, It' s not too much important. It's simply matter of habit. Anyway, thanks for reply.

Post Reply

Return to “Chat about Linux”