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Fonts, fonts, fonts… And: why don’t people use Google/Yahoo/search engine of their choice? January 25, 2007

Posted by globalizer in Java, Locales, Localization, Unicode.


Why, oh why can’t people figure out how to put the tools that are right in front of them to the most basic use?

15 years ago it may have been difficult to find the answer to a question like this one (not simply because Tamil was barely supported anywhere in 1992, of course, but because the search options were so poor back then), but when a basic Google search for something like {java font fallback support}, {java internationalization font} etc. today would have provided you with a wealth of useful resources like this and this, why then ask a totally open-ended question on a forum and expect others to provide you with the answer?

Unfortunately, I think I know the answer – laziness. I see it more and more at least in the Java i18n forum – people ask incredibly simple questions that could be answered by a 2-minute Google search (or basic familiarity with the Java APIs), and they even combine it with rude requests like “give me code” or “provide a solution”.

It also has the effect of vastly reducing the usefulness of fora like this – people who are reasonably knowledgeable don’t bother subscribing, so you rarely get any really interesting issues raised any more.



This specific question did provide me with the impetus to actually try out Tamil in a Swing application, and confirmed my understanding of the way fallback fonts work from Java 1.5 onwards. Since I have worked only with servlets/JSPs for the past several years, that was at least marginally useful 🙂


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