RIT Rachana & MeeraNew fonts version 1.4 released

The Malayalam serif font RIT Rachana and its sans-serif counterpart MeeraNew have enjoyed a wide array of improvements in the past months; and are available now for download and use.

Some notable improvements are listed here:

  1. Entire Malayalam character set defined in Unicode 15, including archaic and vedic characters.
  2. All characters — especially vowel signs — now belong to proper Unicode category GDEF class (thanks to Liang Hai for pointing out the correction), removing a workaround put in place just for Adobe InDesign. This workaround is not required when using HarfBuzz shaping engine (which you should anyway).
  3. Improved design of old-style figures 0, 1 & 2 in RIT-Rachana.
  4. Standalone dependent glyphs of pre-base ra (reph) and below-base la can be displayed with ‘zwj+് +‌ ര/ല’ respectively, useful for informational purpose (when writing a typography specific article, for instance). These characters otherwise always conjoin with the base character.
Reph and below base La standalone glyphs
  1. Major improvements in shaping rules to adhere to language rules even better: double consonants are always joined properly in context; even for unusual combinations. Correct shaping for below instance can be obtained by adding a ZWNJ before but the advanced shaping rule is smarter to not require encoding corrections.
Double consonants are shaped first..
  1. Improved underline position (although thou shalt question thyself why use underline in Indic scripts), which is now also respected by LibreOffice 7.5 thanks to Khaled Hosny. This bug was reported many years ago.
Underline position improved
  1. ന്‍ +‌ ് + റ → ന്റ (Unicode 5.1 atomic chillu nta) support added upon request.

… kerning improvements and many more tweaks and fine tuning. As usual, both typefaces are free & open source software, available at Rachana website. They will be available shortly in Fedora 36 & 37 as an update.

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