Help me test WP-Cumulus unicode support

The one feature I’ve always wanted to add to WP-Cumulus is true unicode support. Flash player 9 made this impossible because it needed to have the font characters embedded into the movie, and unicode fonts are simply too big for that. But with Flash 10, Adobe has introduced new ways of handling text, and those now allow for non-embedded text to be animated quite smoothly. There’s also no longer any need to specify an exact font name, you can simply tell the player to get a sans-serif font. Flash player 10 is on over 93% of computers now, so it starts to make sense to use it to finally add this long-awaited feature to WP-Cumulus.

This movie requires Flash Player 10 or better.

I’ve created a test movie (above) that uses these new features, and I’m anxious to find out if it works for you, especially if you’re in Asia, Russia or anywhere else with a non-Latin character set.

What are you seeing?

  • Are you seeing all 45 tags (approximately), in many languages?
  • Are you seeing your (non-Latin) language?
  • Any other issues?
  • Do you want me to add your language to the test? Post the language name here.

Please leave a comment below and tell me if the movie works as it should. Thanks!

161 Comments

  1. Exciting!

    I might be able to upgrade now :)

    I don’t see Chinese?

    here’s some:

    乐极生悲

    Comment by Mike — November 27, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  2. Thanks, Mike, I added it in. You may need to clear the cache, but it’s showing here.

    Comment by Roy — November 27, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  3. Great Work Roy!!

    It works perfect for me.

    Comment by Andy — November 28, 2009 @ 2:01 am

  4. 赣语,it should be a Chinese dialect has no fonts.But I can see my mother tongue,Chinese!

    Expecting the universal cumulus XD

    Comment by manu — November 28, 2009 @ 2:05 am

  5. AWESOME! each language…. crysatal clear. love it!

    Comment by Teresa Berry — November 28, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  6. I´m having trouble ta make the russian work even with the source code. How did you manage to get cyrillic display in this wp-cumulus?

    Almost all languages clearly visible, only some display in boxes.

    Comment by 3d visualisierung — November 28, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  7. Roy, can you edit your post to include a list of all the text we *should* see in the cloud? I’m still not seeing Chinese. I upgraded cumulus on my site, and it’s not showing there either, at least for me.

    Comment by Mike — November 29, 2009 @ 5:28 am

  8. Is it possible to turn the Cumulus Cloud into a non-tag cloud? E.g. the ‘tags’ could be links or other data from a list

    Comment by Dave — November 29, 2009 @ 5:31 am

  9. Unsure if im meant to see all characters but im seeing a lot of squares (assuming these are unsupported characters?) but I am seeing quite a few Asian and Russian ones…im using latest version of safari with flash 10

    Comment by Zappa — November 29, 2009 @ 8:42 am

  10. Mike: This movie loads http://www.roytanck.com/wp-content/uploads/unicodetest/tagcloud.xml , so if you load that into your browser you should see all the text. There is no new version of WP-Cumulus yet, this will be part of version 2.0 if it works reliably.

    Dave: Yes, you can use the movie outside a the WordPress context. The link is in the shortcuts navigation bar at the top of this page.

    Zappa: Hmm… are you seeing text in your local language? Becuase this relies on fonts installed on your PC (or Mac) it could be that there’s no font installed that supports all languages. Windows has a few by default, including the sans-serif default (Arial).

    3D visualisierung: I doubt you have the source code to this version, as I haven’t checked it into CVS yet. No point in doing that with early tests like this. Are you seeing text inside the boxes, or just empty boxes? And how about your native tongue?

    Comment by Roy — November 29, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  11. I came here to see if there is a answer to my comment (you didn’t install Subscribe to Comments yet :)) and saw that you fixed this with Flash 10.

    I see all words except 5 that are shown as squares. I believe those are Chinese and Japanese (since I don’t see them in other visible ones) and I think that problem is because I don’t have installed fonts that will show them on my computer (I also see those squares when visiting Chinese and Japanese web sites and when viewing XML file you mentioned above). So I don’t think that problem is with your code, it’s because of users’ fonts. Some East Asians could confirm as this.

    Since you are preparing new version, will you consider my suggestions about wp_enqueue_script and localization mentioned here?

    Comment by Milan — November 29, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  12. Yes, using the script queue is on our list and it ties in with moving to SWFObject 2.x. I hope you’re right as to why some languages don’t show up. It’s how things should work, and how I hope for them to work.

    Comment by Roy — November 29, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

  13. Turkish which is Türkçe doesn’t appear
    and instead some text squares appear

    Comment by proje — November 30, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  14. now all boxes disappeared an some new languages appeared. My native tongue is German, but i also need some cyrillic characters and they´re displayed correctly in the tags.
    I don´t have the sourcecode for this version, but you´ve put a source version to download, where people can manipulate the fla file and i tried the cyrillic character embedding but it didn´t work. But it works well for the wp-cumulus example swf i found on your bolg. Any hint, how i can fix this. I noticed that the as in the source is different from the example swf.

    Comment by 3D Visualisierung — November 30, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  15. Roy,

    Let us have a try with Polish language. The demo string could be: ZażółćGęśląJaźń

    Best regards,
    Oczkov

    Comment by Oczkov — November 30, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

  16. Will it work with Vietnamese tags?

    Comment by CeeBee — December 1, 2009 @ 6:11 am

  17. Proje, does is appear OK if you loed the XML into the browser? (http://www.roytanck.com/wp-content/uploads/unicodetest/tagcloud.xml)

    3D, I think your best option is for 2.0 to be released, but if you’re in a hurry, please make sure you pick a font that has Cyrillic characters, and make sure the font name in the TextField object matches the one in the Tag.as class before recompiling the movie.

    Oczkov, I added in Polish, and it looks OK to me (actually, I think the current WP-Cumulus does Polish because there are only a few characters besides Latin, which I remember including)

    CeeBee, I can see Vietnamese now, can you?

    Comment by Roy — December 1, 2009 @ 10:47 am

  18. Thank you so much for this very useful answer, will let you know if successful.

    Comment by Giulio (alias 3D Visualisierung) — December 1, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

  19. This. Is. So Beautiful. SO Beautiful! Saw it on The Architecture Review website and now I want EVERYTHING on the interwebs to move like this! [Please design a plugin that transforms all websites into WP Cumulus? :) ]
    Thankyou!

    Comment by miss_om — December 1, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

  20. Hi Roy, the word “Turkce” (Turkish) appears fine in Chrome (Win XP). I will check with other browsers under XP and Snow Leopard later. I’ll post the results. Thanks :)

    Comment by Baris Purut — December 2, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  21. I Dont see Danish

    Hejsa

    Comment by Jonas — December 3, 2009 @ 10:48 am

  22. Jonas, does the Danish language use non-latin characters? If so, could you give me a word to use for testing? The point is not to have every language possible in here, but to test if non-latin characters work on as many client systems as possible. My English language Vista and Win7 boxes both show all languages OK so far.

    Comment by Roy — December 3, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  23. Really nice job :)

    I see my language – polish.
    But instead of one word written in other langue I see small squares (no font effect). The word floating in pair with ~ “amarenna”. That’s if both words are in same language.

    Comment by kmin — December 5, 2009 @ 1:27 am

  24. Hey Roy, good job! I see squares instead of asisn chars (chinese/japanese/korean) WinXP SP3 RUS.. Hope this helps

    Comment by Alex — December 7, 2009 @ 8:20 am

  25. Excellent work Roy.
    I can see all languages including mine (Greek) on my win7 box.

    Comment by nikan — December 8, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  26. Hi Roy,

    I can see all Chinese on my Macbook (OS X 10.5.5).

    Must be a font issue with my Ubuntu box.

    Comment by Mike — December 8, 2009 @ 11:16 pm

  27. I downloaded the swf from this page and replaced the file in my wp-cumulus dir for my site – Chinese now visible in the tag cloud :)

    http://pagesofinterest.net/blog/?

    Comment by Mike — December 8, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

  28. I don’t see a Russian and Ukrainian there. I really need these two in there. Thanks.

    Comment by EnjoyMP3s.com — December 9, 2009 @ 1:18 am

  29. Interesting, though I can’t see it all, some are boxes. So, here is a run down on what system I am using; what languages I recognise; and what doesn’t work for me. Hopefully this will help you workout where the problem is :)

    My system: Mac OS 10.5.8, Firefox 3.5.5, Shockwave Flash 10.0 r32
    Languages I recognise[1]: English, German, Turkish, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean, Greek, Vietnamese, Cyrillic.
    Links for the languages that appear as boxes[2]: avi, convert, entrepreneurship, google, plugins[3]
    Links for languages I can see in xml but not the cloud[4]: bank, bizner, calendar, flash, gadgets, goosync, idea, internet, plugin,

    Notes:
    1. I can’t read all the languages I recognise, so may be misidentifying some.
    2. I have put the tag linked to in the xml file for all the text the appears as boxes.
    3. I can read the second word, but not the first
    4. I can read some characters int he xml file that I can’t see in the cloud. This may be that the cloud does not show all the tags. Though the fonts that I can’t see in the list appear to by Indian and Arabic.

    Comment by Leefe — December 9, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    • Thanks for all the replies so far. The most important thing I guess is whether everyone is seeing the target languages for their own blog. If Chinese bloggers can use Chinese tags and their readers can see them, I’m happy. With the font no longer embedded into the Flash, the movie is has to rely on system fonts to render the text. If you’re in the US and use an older OS you may not have the right fonts to render Chinese tags, but if you’re in China you probably will.

      We’re going to be adding a font preference in WP-Cumulus 2.0 so users can select their own font, and pick a (web safe) font that supports their language.

      Comment by Roy — December 10, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  30. By the way, I see some Spanish characters like: ñáéíóúü¡¿ºªÑÁÉÍÓÚÜ
    Only one of the words is shown in squares for me.

    Comment by Fernando — December 9, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

  31. Here’s what I can see !
    http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/7877/capturedcran20091210194.png

    Comment by Sébastien — December 10, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

  32. This is great, can I buy or download this program to use on my website?

    Comment by Eric — December 11, 2009 @ 1:47 am

    • Hi Eric. Yes you can.

      Sebastien, what OS and browser are you using? And can you see your own language? I’ve not come across this many ‘blocks’ yet.

      Comment by Roy — December 11, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  33. I’m a swede.
    I can see all the rotating languages and I didn’t install any extra fonts in Windows Vista. Works perfect without any extra fonts installed in OS X 10.5 too.

    I don’t see any words with the letters Å, Ä, Ö, å, ä, ö (Swedish and finnish) and Æ, Ø, Å, æ, ø, å (Norwegian and danish).

    The norwegian/danish word could be “Pølse” and the swedish word could be “Förändring”. I don’t speak finnish but they have the same letters as us in their alphabet.

    Comment by Andreas — December 12, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  34. I like it. Can I use this on my site http://www.ppsz.com made on ELgg?

    Comment by Amit Mahajan — December 12, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  35. *I can see at least 35 different languages,
    * I can see Chinese characters, like “汉语”, “赣语”, “乐极生悲”, “日本语”, ”平壤“
    * Some characters are display as block, perhaps there are no fonts of those languages on my pc.

    Comment by xxxss — December 14, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  36. Hey Roy,

    great work with the unicode support. But now that you made it even more userfriendly for non native english speaker, help me keep my promise: http://www.roytanck.com/2008/03/15/wp-cumulus-released/#comment-63571

    It really isn’t that much work to do :)

    Kau-Boy

    Comment by Kau-Boy — December 16, 2009 @ 1:21 am

  37. http://pics.lt/images/2009-12-16_144707.png
    Please add lithuanian language. ( Ą Č Ę Ė Į Š Ų Ū Ž )

    Comment by Wiziris — December 16, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

  38. Hi Roy.

    I’m a Korean and my mother language is already seen there. It works well Thanks. (WinXP)

    p.s. I ported WP-Cumulus to TiStory blog environment (one of the common environment in Korea) and posted it on my blog.
    (BTW, the post ‘how to install it’ is written in Korean)

    http://zoc.kr/639

    Thanks always.

    Comment by bluenlive — December 16, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

  39. Something more to tell you.

    1. I can see some blocks. Maybe Sutable fonts are missing. (Korean Windows XP)

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2762/4190547121_ed9aa7d8ff_o.png

    2. In new version, users will be able to designate font?
    or font will be written in flash file itself?
    (I hope that users would be able to choose font)

    Thanks again for your effort and the great plugin.

    Comment by bluenlive — December 16, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

  40. Kau-Boy: Yes, version 2.0 will be fully translatable. I’ll be looking into GlotPress to set up a translation community too.

    Wiziris: I’ve added those characters to the XML

    bluenlive: Are you using this highly experimental swf version, or a modified version of the current release movie? Thanks for porting, I’ll try and update the list in the faq soon.

    And yes, the goal is to have users choose the font. This is a nice feature anyway, but it also allows you to pick a font that supports your language. It will have to be a font that’s installed on the user’s computer too though, but with a CSS-like fallback (like ‘sans-serif).

    Comment by Roy — December 17, 2009 @ 9:44 am

  41. Roy, thanks for your answer.

    1. Of course I’m using a modified version of the current release. I don’t use experimental version.

    2. Do you mean I (and other users) will not have to re-compile the WP-Cumulus plugin?
    That sounds excellent!

    Thanks again for your great product and kind answer.

    Comment by bluenlive — December 17, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    • No need to recompile. System fonts will be used, and you’ll be able to use something like “Georgia, Times, serif” in the settings.

      Comment by Roy — December 17, 2009 @ 11:36 am

  42. Works for me, though some words are boxes.
    My system is Ubuntu/8.04 (hardy) Firefox/3.0.15
    Boxes for the following tags:

    sync
    3d
    google
    idea (for this one the xml file in ffox shows garbage as well – so I guess its the system’s “fault” ).
    plugins
    nabaztag – only one char is a box, the rest show up ok.

    Also – if you want to have good support for RTL langauges (hebrew, arabic, persian), you should probably add a “directionality” boolean attribute which should do the equivalent of dir=”rtl” in html.
    e.g the following search box is left aligned (http://www.google.com/#q=%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9D+PC), and this one is right aligned (http://www.google.co.il/#q=%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9D+PC)
    Not sure how to do this in flash.

    When do you expect the unicode version to be out?

    Comment by Eyal — December 17, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    • Hi Eyal. Thanks for your comment. I’ll be looking into rtl asap. I think it’s not hard to do at all in Flash, and yes, it would be a great addition. I’m seeing something similar on my Ubuntu box, and I guess it’s a matter of fonts. My hope is that the new font setting will allow users to work around this.

      We were hoping to release the new version this year, but it’s more realistic to aim for January at this point I think. Don’t want to rush it and have it break for users.

      Comment by Roy — December 17, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  43. the movie on the top of the the page work for me in China. it is a cool flash to show off.

    Comment by Chinese Symbols — December 20, 2009 @ 4:20 am

  44. great job~ cool~

    some chinese example “鸟儿真伟大”

    Comment by nobird — December 21, 2009 @ 7:21 am

  45. Hi Roy, I see some non-latin languages, but also many boxes. It could be a font problem.

    Heres are some screenshots:

    http://bohtech.com/images/Screenshot.png – Safari
    http://bohtech.com/images/Screenshot2.png – Firefox
    http://bohtech.com/images/Screenshot3.png – XML

    David

    Mac OS 10.6.2 Safari 4.0.4, Firefox 3.5.6

    Comment by David DelMonte — December 25, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

  46. HI Roy,
    Your Tag cloud has got my passion for it. I couldn’t help trying it, but I fail to include my language despite trying hard for 2 days trying as you explained here (http://www.roytanck.com/2008/08/04/how-to-add-more-characters-to-wp-cumulus/). I really like to see it working for Tibetan Characters as sampled here : “བོད་རིགས་མི་མང་།” , which uses font “microsoft himalaya” from OS VISTA.
    Can it be done?
    Tenzin

    Comment by Tenzin — January 5, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    • Hi Tenzin. We’re working on a version that has true unicode support. I’d advise you to wait for that to be released. Hopefully that will happen this month.

      Comment by Roy — January 6, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  47. In Serbia we use both Latin with our letters šđčćž ŠĐČĆŽ and Cyrillic that is nearly like Russian but have these letters also љњџђћ ЉЊЏЂЋ. Otherwise, latin + cyrillic are enough :)

    I use Drupal and I am trying to get it working but something weird is happening as everything is working but links do not show or work.

    There were questions on Drupal Cumulus issue but no one seems to answer :(

    Comment by MacMladen — January 6, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

    • Links not working is usually because of url issues. The links need to be on the same domain, unless a security setting is changed for the flash (done in the Drupal code). The current release version of the movie does not support unicode, so that might also be an issue.

      I’ve added the characters you mentioned into the test XML file, so if you empty your cache you should see them (or not).

      Comment by Roy — January 7, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  48. Can i get to use the 3d tag cloud in flex.. i really require it !!

    Comment by shashank — January 7, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  49. I can see some Chinese “中国话” “汉语” “乐极生悲” … Thanks !

    Comment by anyLiv — January 8, 2010 @ 7:57 am

  50. when i export the code in flex…its opening as a blank file…what shall i do!?

    Comment by shashank — January 8, 2010 @ 8:09 am

    • Shashank, I’m really not familiar with Flex, so I’m afraid I can’t help you…

      Comment by Roy — January 8, 2010 @ 3:02 pm