Sequel to One Thing I hate about Myanmar Blogs

“First learn which one is Unicode-complaint Burmese font before you utter your ignorance.”

Laka Thang

The above is a comment by Laka Thang about my blog article “One thing I hate about Myanmar blogs” (Actually it was written into my guest book, but I know he means about my above article, and since this is not relevant to the Guest Book, I moved it to the relevant post. My apology to Laka Thang)

After reading his comment, I think I should give some explanation to my post. It seems my article did offend some of those Myanmar bloggers and web masters. I was just uttering my frustration about some of the websites and blogs which do not give any consideration for the average surfer like me. Yes, an average user lack any technical expertise. As an average user, I don’t know the difference between so called Unicode and multicode (if it ever exist! Well, if uni exist, multi should also exist, for an average user). I heard from somewhere on the that Zawgyi is a Myanmar Unicode font (I don’t know what that means). As most blogs I visited mention about Zawgyi, I believe I must have one on my computer so that I could read these blogs. And I found out that most of the blogs I visited are OK with my Zawgyi font. So, as an average user, my knowledge of Unicode is limited to Zawgyi and Zawgyi only. If a website or blog I visited use a different font, I will try to see if they provide a link to download their font. If there is a link, I will download the font, and install it. If not, I won’t give another thought about that blog or website, as I lack the expertise to find out the font they use, and to find a place to download the Myanmar font. For average user, I don’t care whether your site is Unicode or not. All I care is whether I could read your blog or website easily, without any extra effort or headache.

This is the important point. When you write a blog or a web page, your intention is to let your visitors know about you, your opinion, your product or your company. You don’t scare away your visitors. You don’t give headache to your visitors. If you want visitors to your site, you have to make their life easy. Your users don’t know Unicode. They don’t know whether the font you use is Unicode compliant or not. An average user is as ignorant as me. If he face the same situation as me, he will also utter his ignorance out loud. Moreover, he will simply leave your blog or website, and never come back again in this life. The result? You lose a visitor.

I heard from many people on the web (especially from My Myanmar camp) that Zawgyi is not truely unicode compliant. As an average user, I don’t care if a font is unicode compliant or not (because I don’t know anything). All I care is, I want an easy life. So, when most websites and blogs use Zawgyi, I simply think this is web standard. So, if you are a webmaster or a blogger, this is the decision you will have to do: to follow the trend and make the life of your visitors easy, or to be a geek and scare your visitors away. This is your choice, not mine. My choice, as an average user, is simple: give me an easy life and I will visit your site again; give me a headache and I won’t give another thought about the existance of your blog anymore.

Author: Bamarlay

Bamarlay - Myanmar man is a blogger from Myanmar, currently living in Thailand.

2 thoughts on “Sequel to One Thing I hate about Myanmar Blogs”

  1. When I decided to start having some Burmese words in my blog, I checked on the various fonts in current use. Thus, I was aware about some of these fonts being non-compliant to Unicode font system protocol. But I have to make a choice between strict compliance and practicality. In the end, I chose Zawgyi because of its wide-spread use in many Burmese blogs and websites.

    It’s like choosing television systems (NTSC, PAL or SECAM)… or choosing operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOSX, BSD, Solaris, etc)… which is better?

    Well, the best is certainly what serves our needs 🙂

  2. Zawgyi may be easy to type, but it actually steals code points that are used for other Burmese languages like Shan, Mon, and Pali. If you have Zawgyi installed maybe those languages show up properly. So you should be careful.

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