About WP-Cumulus in Chinese

I’ve been getting questions about a possible Chinese version of WP-Cumulus almost on a daily basis ever since I posted the first version on wordpress.org. I’ve tried to reply to all of them with basically the same answer. That I’d tried to create one but failed. And secondly that although perhaps possible, a Chinese version might not be usable due to file size issues. I looked into this again today to see if I could confirm that second claim, and here’s what I found.

A little background

Flash offers two basic modes for text fields.

  1. Using an embedded font. Because the font is embedded into the movie, every user will see the correct font, and you will be able to rotate, animate and use transparency on the text field.
  2. Using a client system font. This will save a lot of file size because no characters are embedded, but as a trade-off you can not rotate, smoothly animate or dim this kind of text field.

Because animating and dimming are essential ingredients in WP-Cumulus, I find myself forced to use option 1. I’ve written a short tutorial about adding your language’s to WP-Cumulus. For most languages, this is very easy to do.

According to Flash’s font embedding dialog, Chinese ‘Simplified’ consists of 13,746 characters. Basic Latin only has 484, and still adds 27 kilobytes to the Flash movie’s file size. Theoretically, embedding Simplified Chinese would create an SWF file of over 766 kilobytes. This is why I dismissed the idea. 700 Kb is far too heavy for what is essentially a toy.

In comes Microsoft YaHei

Vista comes with a font called ‘Microsoft YaHei’, and as I found out today, that particular font actually contains all the Chinese characters. This enabled me to have another go at trying to create a Chinese version. Here’s what I did.

  1. I opended up the flash and set the textfield’s font to ‘Microsoft YaHei’.
  2. I clicked the ‘embed’ button and added ‘Simplified Chinese – Level 1′ to the selection.
  3. In the Tag.as file, I changed the font name from ‘Arial’ to ‘Microsoft YaHei’.
  4. I then published the movie.

I had copied some Chinese text (see the screenshot above, I have no idea what it means) into my test tag cloud beforehand and it was now being displayed wonderfully. Unfortunately, the resulting SWF file was 3.7 MB (that’s right, megabytes…). Putting something like that online would make your blog come to a grinding halt for the vast majority of users.

All is not lost…

I came across this post today, from which I gather that Flash 10 has introduced a new type of text element that finally allows non-embedded text to be properly animated. If this is true, a true unicode version of WP-Cumulus might become a possibility. I will definitely look into this asap.

41 Comments

  1. SUPEEEER

    Comment by UGUR — November 7, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  2. woah! this is one awesome wideget.
    how can i get hold of it?

    or is it not a shareware?
    let me know thanks. =)

    Comment by Viv — November 8, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  3. 期待unicode版本
    Look forward to unicode version

    Comment by wulinfo — November 9, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  4. dioooos porfabor que alguien me esplique como hacerlo me encantaria tenerlo porfabor que alguien me ayude doy las gracias !!

    Comment by ysban09 — November 10, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  5. @viv: See http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-cumulus/ :)

    Comment by Roy — November 11, 2008 @ 9:00 am

  6. Thank you. I have installed this plugins.

    Comment by kiralık iskele — November 11, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  7. Respect! Mega Super !!

    Comment by offmode — November 12, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  8. excuse, if wp-cumulus can show chinese words,
    then your another plugin: tagnetic poetry , it can show chinese, too?

    Comment by muki — November 13, 2008 @ 2:50 am

  9. Link: MUKI space*
  10. Hi Muki. The point is that Cumulus does not display Chinese characters for now. Only when Flash Player 10 is installed with most users will it be feasible to add Chinese support. Of course, Tagnetic Poetry will then also be updated :).

    Comment by Roy — November 13, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  11. where can i do it to my website??? i think its cool

    Comment by Emil — November 17, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  12. thanks for your reply. I’ll waiting you good news :)

    Comment by muki — November 17, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

  13. i can play a lot of chinese!and swf is 32 KB.
    see my blog.

    Comment by acgfestival — November 17, 2008 @ 6:32 pm

  14. tip:just choose words you want.
    by this,i can play over 20 languages(include CHT,CHS,JP,KR…) in a tagcloud.
    and swf can ctrl in 3X kB(even smaller than defult).

    Comment by acgfestival — November 17, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

  15. thanks for your great work, I use it on my new blog http://xqr.co.cc

    Comment by riant — November 18, 2008 @ 5:55 pm

  16. That sounds great Roy, thanks for taking the time to investigate it for us!

    @acgfestival: that looks wonderful – I’m going to give this a go

    Comment by Mike — November 18, 2008 @ 11:14 pm

  17. Oh, I think it has worked fine in Chinese when I found the picture, Then I installed it, but I fonud it can’t show Chinese, Then i back now…

    It was a pite that I have to give up it now :(

    Comment by riant — November 21, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

  18. Please make Russian support.

    Comment by Alexey — November 23, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  19. I got it going!

    Look here: http://pagesofinterest.net/mikes/blog_of_interest.php

    It’s only 36kb with Standard Latin + the Chinese Characters!

    Comment by Mike — November 24, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  20. Thanks bro. I love this plugins. it will be great if Chinses is supported~!! keep on the good work!

    Comment by Dest1ned — November 25, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  21. i like it most,anticipate it happens with chinese vesion asap !!

    Comment by vino — November 26, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  22. @Mike:you got it!it’s easy~
    i just have too less link to let it looks bigger…or it will very strong…just by chinese,no english! XD

    Comment by acgfestival — November 27, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  23. 1.
    Look here: http://pagesofinterest.net/mikes/blog_of_interest.php
    It’s only 36kb with Standard Latin + the Chinese Characters!
    ————-
    I see, he adds several chinese characters in the flash.

    2.
    I made a 3000 characters version , about 726 k. but still not enough…
    http://alexxu.com/cumulus.jpg

    Comment by alex — November 29, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  24. Link: Aladdin With A Lamp » Blog Archive » WP-Cumulus 中文化较完美方案
  25. Great job!
    Waiting for the unicode version~~

    Comment by Drifter — February 9, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

  26. hi,would you please share the flash source file?
    i want to add it to my blog.But it is powered by Textpattern not WordPress.

    it’s GPL ? Please E-mail it to me.
    Thank you.

    Comment by YCF.name — February 10, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  27. OMG,i was found it at the Development Version.

    i will work hard on it.Thank you.

    Comment by YCF.name — February 10, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  28. Great thing!
    Please, share unicode version! Size doesnt really matter in a terms i wanna use it for educational purpose.
    Thnanks in advance!

    Comment by Evgeny — February 22, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  29. Link: 关于标签云的中文版 | 80年代
  30. Link: Wordpress插件推荐-WP Cumulus | 盆盆罐罐
  31. Link: Chinese keywords | 80年代
  32. Link: | 80年代
  33. Link: 标签云插件WP-Cumulus显示中文Tags的解决方案 | CV 博客
  34. Link: 标签云插件WP-Cumulus显示中文Tags的解决方案 » Z-Rui 生活。驿动 张瑞的博客 记录点滴生活
  35. Hello
    is it possible to release your chinese version (3.7 MB one).
    I tried to do it by myself but it doesnt work : /

    With the last flash version (trial mode), i add the simplified Chinese char set, i changed the font to “hei” (a chinese font for mac because Microsoft YaHei is not available) and i edited the Tag.as file (remove Arial and add Hei).

    Then i published it, get the swf file (3.1 mo) and it doesnt work…

    i would like to use it in local so the size is not a problem for me.

    So if you can put your swf on your server, rapidshare or whatever, it will be great !

    Thanks.

    Comment by Pedro — July 21, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  36. looking forward for flash 10 version…

    Comment by soragan — October 5, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  37. Link: 和jQ以及WP-Cumulus的战斗 - horan studio
  38. Link: WP-Cumulus插件使用中文标签云 - 知知's Blog
  39. Link: 80年代 » Blog Archive » 常用中文关键词
  40. Link: Let WP-Cumulus display Chinese « kiddlee's blog
  41. Link: WordPress插件推荐-WP Cumulus | thunje