Reading Anandabazar Now trouble free
Click on link to read Anandabazar patrika easly, without installing any font, in any browser :

Anandabazar Patrika, Unicode and proxy


Ideally, there shouldn’t be any need for this proxy but see below…

Anandabazar Patrika (ABP) is the largest Bangla (Bengali) news paper from India. Being a leader in Bangla publishing industry, one might expect them to be in forefront in improving the digital standard for Bangla. Unfortunately, they themselves continue to use a decade-old, non-standard technology instead of adopting the international standard for digital Bangla namely the Unicode. This site is a way to petition Anandabazar for adopting Unicode Bangla in their online version.

  • Unicode proxy for Anandabazar – what does it do?
This proxy server acts similar to Firefox plugin Padma that converts non-standard ABP pages into standard Unicode Bangla on-the-fly. However, unlike Padma, conversions are done in the server side (for another proxy server see http://uni.medhas.org). This makes ABP pages viewable even in mobile phones (see the table). Further, this proxy demonstrates that adopting Unicode in ABP website is not difficult.

  • Which browser does ABP support and what about Unicode Bangla?

ABP Bangla

Unicode Bangla *
Desktop Currently only one browser (Netscape is no longer in development)

  • Microsoft IE
Almost every modern browser in all Operating Systems (Windows, Mac, Linux/Unix). It includes:

To enable read/write in Unicode Bangla, visit here

Mobile
  • None
Every mobile devices that supports Opera Mini browser (see here). It includes

  • Apple iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
  • Android phones (Google Nexus One, and others)
  • BlackBerry
  • Phones made by Nokia, Samsung and others
  • Windows mobile
  • See the full list of supported phones
To read Anandabazar in mobile phone you may use this link or use Google reformatter

Gallery of screenshots showing Unicode Bangla support in different devices/browsers

  • But ABP Bangla font looks better. Isn’t it?

Unlike ABP, Unicode Bangla can be viewed using any Unicode compliant font. Having said that, here are two screenshots taken in Windows XP. Now judge yourself which one looks better:  (i)  ABP Bangla font (ii) Unicode Bangla using Bangla Akademi font.

  • Are there other advantages in upgrading to Unicode Bangla?

ABP Bangla Unicode Bangla
Data usage
ABP uses a decade-old, inefficient method to represent Bangla resulting much higher data usage.
For example: reading this editorial page directly from ABP, costs you

  • 73 KB
The same editorial page in Unicode version requires only

  • 21 KB
Use of Unicode will significantly reduce bandwidth cost for the readers (as well as ABP themselves)!
Search within a page
  • No
  • Yes
Same as searching English text
Web Search(Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc…)
  • No
  • Yes
Click here to do a search in Bangla now!
Email, Chat, …
  • No
  • Yes
Same as in English


  • Why doesn’t ABP use Unicode?

ABP started their online version almost a decade ago. At that time Unicode Bangla wasn’t well supported. However in 2010, a decade later, there are hardly any justification for not upgrading to Unicode.

  • Why is current ABP encoding bad for digital Bangla?

Being the largest Bengali newspaper from India, action of ABP has much larger consequences. Their use of non-standard Bangla is detrimental for the growth of a single, universal standard for digital Bangla. Thus, the issue is not simply the inability to read ABP in all platform. Their continual 

non-compliance of international standard

has put the future of digital Bangla at stake.

  • What can we do?

Anandabazar is generally considered as a forward looking newspaper, and a champion of change. Their editorials (read herehere) are vocal about their views. So please write to the editor reminding them that ABP has forgotten to change themselves and has failed to adopt international standard for digital Bangla even in 2010. Please send your letter 

using regular mail to show that you care for future of digital Bangla. Their mailing address:

“Sampadok Samipeshu”

Anandabazar Patrika

6, Prafulla Sarkar Street

Kolkata – 700 001, INDIA

  • What can ABP do?

At the least they can serve a Unicode version of their online newspaper along with the current pages (eg. it could behttp://www.anandabazar.com/unicode/). The Unicode version can be generated on-the-fly (as being demonstrated here). So they may continue to use their own technology internally. This way they can serve a much larger audience including mobile phone users, almost immediately.

  • Can I get the conversion program used in this proxy server?
Sure. You can freely (under GPLv2) download the program from here (v0.9-beta). Its written in Python and it is just 10 KB (tar gzipped).
  • This petition is supported by:

  • Golam M Hossain (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) – Kolkata, India)

  • Koushik Dutta (Max Planck Institute – Munich, Germany)
  • Dipankar Das (Teacher, Jaipuria College – Kolkata, India)
  • Sayamindu Dasgupta (One Laptop Per Child Association Inc., India)
  • Sayan Chakrabarti (Institute of Physics – Bhubaneswar, India)
  • Rajib Sarkar (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids – Dresden, Germany)
  • Debasish Das   (Tata Consultancy Services, India)
  • Kinjal Banerjee (Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics – Pune, India)
  • Arnab Sengupta  (Teacher, St. Stephen’s School – Kolkata, India)
  • Sanchita Goswami  (University of Calcutta – Kolkata, India)
  • Indranil Das Gupta (L2C2 Technologies – Kolkata, India)
  • Tathagata Banerjee  (Assistant Professor, Bangabasi College – Kolkata, India)
  • Kanik Palodhi  (Loughborough University – Leicester, UK)
  • Samik Mukherjee (Technical Architect, SDG Software India Pvt Limited – Noida, India)
  • Jayanta Nath (Administrator, Bengali Wikipedia, India)
  • Mayukh Sarkar  (University of Utah – Salt Lake City, USA)
  • Debajyoti Choudhury (Faculty member, University of Delhi, India)
  • Madhushree Basu (Research Fellow, Institute of Mathematical Sciences – Chennai, India)
  • Debasri Chakrabarti Dubey (Computational Linguist, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing – Pune, India)
  • Purnendu Chakraborty (University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, USA)
  • Srijan Kumar Kundu (Senior Systems Engineer, Infosys Technologies – Bhubaneswar, India)
  • Arindam Sengupta (Dept. of Statistics, University of Calcutta – Kolkata, India)
  • Indranil Saha (PhD Scholar, Computer Science Department, University of California – Los Angeles, USA)
  • Anjishnu Sarkar (Post Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Physics – Bhubaneswar, India )
  • Arijit Mukherjee (Lead Architect, Connectiva Systems – Kolkata, India)
  • Suvankar Dutta (School of Physical Sciences, Swansea University – Swansea, UK)
  • Diganta Sarkar (Software Engineer, Microsoft Corporation – Seattle, USA)
  • Jayanta Mukhopadhyay (Envista Corporation – Boston, USA)
  • Joydip Datta (Student, Dept. of Computer Sci. & Eng., Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, India)
  • Susruta Samanta (PhD Scholar, Jacobs University – Bremen, Germany)
  • Arnab Bhattacharyya (B.Tech. Student, Konnagar, Hooghly, West Bengal, India)
  • Rudradeep Biswas (MBBS Student, R.G. Kar Medical College – Kolkata, India)
  • Avick Chakraborty (Sr. Development Mgr., SIEMENS PL, India)
  • Susmit Shannigrahi (Ambassador, Fedora Project, Kolkata, India)
  • Souvik Bhattacharyya (PhD Student, Indian Institute of Science –  Bangalore, India)
  • Dr Subrata Saha (Medical Officer, E.S.I. Hospital – Sealdah, Kolkata, India)
  • Kasturi Basu (Rutgers University, USA)
  • Ritam Mukherjee ( Software Engg Student, BPPIMT, VIP Road, Kolkata, India )
  • Abhijit Mondal (M.Tech, CSE, Indian Institute Technology – Guwahati, India)
  • Arindam Basu (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
  • Dwaipayan Chakraborti (PG Trainee, Dept of Internal Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center – Connecticut, USA)
  • and possibly you… (if yes then mail [see below] your name, company/institution/profession, country, and optionally link to your webpage/blog etc.)




This petition site is maintained by Golam M Hossain (gmhossain at gmail.com) since Jun 13, 2010. Please feel free to email if you have any comment, concern, screenshots of Unicode Bangla in your device, 

or

want to support the petition.

You may also post your comment or words of supportin this blog post.

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