Connected Arabic fonts in Android 2.3

I’m working with a customer that is conducting a survey in Iraq using Samsung Galaxy Y Duos (android 2.3) and fieldTask. Later model phones (android 3+) worked well with Arabic but not these earlier versions. Even after rooting the phones and installing new fonts it still didn’t connect the characters.  See below a screen shot using Dr Ben Ox Arabic fonts which seemed to give the best results.
arabic2 (1)

Fortunately there is an Arabic reshaping library available from https://github.com/agawish/Better-Arabic-Reshaper/ which can be used with these old phones. I added ArabicReshaper.java and ArabicUtilities.java from this library to the odkCollect library that performs survey completion in fieldTask. I then modified the “QuestionWidget.java”, “SelectOneWidget.java” and “SelectMultipleWidget.java” files in odkCollect to call the “reshape” function when setting the text. See line 12 below.

[code language=”java” highlight=”11,12″]
protected void addQuestionText(FormEntryPrompt p) {
String imageURI = p.getImageText();
String audioURI = p.getAudioText();
String videoURI = p.getSpecialFormQuestionText(“video”);

// shown when image is clicked
String bigImageURI = p.getSpecialFormQuestionText(“big-image”);

// Add the text view. Textview always exists, regardless of whether there’s text.
mQuestionText = new TextView(getContext());
// mQuestionText.setText(p.getLongText()); smap
mQuestionText.setText(ArabicUtilities.reshape(p.getLongText())); // smap
mQuestionText.setTextSize(TypedValue.COMPLEX_UNIT_DIP, mQuestionFontsize);
mQuestionText.setTypeface(null, Typeface.BOLD);
mQuestionText.setPadding(0, 0, 0, 7);
mQuestionText.setId(QuestionWidget.newUniqueId()); // assign random id

// Wrap to the size of the parent view
mQuestionText.setHorizontallyScrolling(false);

if (p.getLongText() == null) {
mQuestionText.setVisibility(GONE);
}

// Create the layout for audio, image, text
mediaLayout = new MediaLayout(getContext());
mediaLayout.setAVT(p.getIndex(), “”, mQuestionText, audioURI, imageURI, videoURI, bigImageURI);

addView(mediaLayout, mLayout);
}
[/code]

This improved the display significantly:
SC20130708-172712

This Arabic version of fieldTask is available for download from http://dev/smap.com.au. There are other widgets that could have this functionality added and presumably the arabic text typed by an enumerator in a text field should also be reshaped. These additional changes will be made on an as needs basis. The preferred option is to get a phone that supports Arabic fonts natively which would be a better option than having to root the phones to install new fonts.

One thought on “Connected Arabic fonts in Android 2.3

  1. Neil Penman Post author

    Rather than using the Arabic version of fieldTask we are using Android 4.1 phones with the standard version of field task. Main reason being support for entry of Arabic text.

    Reply

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