Releasing: Gurbani search for mobile

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Gurbani searching on the mobile used to be tough. Symbian and Android phones do not support Unicode with Indic support, which is required to use gurmukhi websites. Opera Mini allowed us to read gurbani, but entering search text is a different matter.

I have developed a web page that allows you to do this, but rather by entering roman letters. For example, enter ‘k’ instead of ‘ਕ’.

To use this go to: http://tinyurl.com/gfind.

GFind
GFind

Mobile users can use this within Opera Mini (with a configuration setting change as shown here: enter config: as a URL which takes you to advanced settings page. Set Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts to Yes and then Save), for best results. Opera Mini uses cloud computing to render Gurmukhi text, and therefore doesn’t need that support on the mobile itself.

That being said, this tool can be used anywhere you like – on the desktop or any mobile browser. Detailed instructions for using it are on the page itself.

This is envisaged to be updated in future to allow search options powered by various other websites, as and when more powerful search is available. Click here for a short history of Gurbani search.

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Gurbani search on Nokia!

After working on this for more than two months, I am successful in setting up my Nokia N97 phone to be able to search Gurbani. I normally use SriGranth.org for this, but Gurmukhi characters would not show.

Nokia N97
Nokia N97
After working on this for more than two months, I am successful in setting up my Nokia N97 phone to be able to search Gurbani. I normally use SriGranth.org for this, but Gurmukhi characters would not show.

One easy way to fix this, without adding Gurmukhi Unicode fonts to the mobile, is to install Opera Mini (not the full version, Opera Mobile). Now, enter config: as a URL which takes you to advanced settings page. Set Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts to Yes and then Save. That’s it, now visit SriGranth.org.

If you want to add Gurmukhi support to other applications also, the solution is here; in short:

  1. Download this file http://rapidshare.com/files/327695116/Full_character_support_in_every_language_s60v5.zip.
  2. Unzip, and upload the four TTF files to the /resource/fonts folder on the memory card. Retain the file names.
  3. Restart the phone!

Now, visit SriGranth.org using the default browser. It works! (although the rendering is still incorrect but its better than nothing). Opera Mini based method advised first has correct rendering also, although it will involve higher data download.

I use a combination of both, for best results. However, the second solution comes with a caveat: once the phone is using these fonts, if you connect it to the PC in the mass media mode, the phone reboots. To avoid this each time you need to connect, you will need to remove the card (by pressing the power butting, going all the way down and selecting the remove card option; and then physically removing the card) and then attach the phone to the PC. If you want to connect the card itself to the PC, you will need to use a card reader.

This should also work for other Nokia phones, including 5800EX although I have tried it only for N97.

Once I did this, I was also able to read Gurmukhi emails using the Gmail mobile app. Also, there is a nice browser called UC which can be downloaded from here and also can render Gurmukhi once these fonts are used.

Note that once you update fonts using this approach, all content on the phone will be displayed using this font. If you do not like that, you can always go back and remove these four files and restart the phone.

I am also eagerly awaiting the release of Symbian version of GurbaniAnywhere which will allow me to search Gurbani even without Internet access.

NOTE: Please do post comments if you know of other, better ways of doing this, especially those that do not require an internet connection.

UPDATE 17th Jan 2012: There is now an App for NOKIA for this purpose (please see comment below). Can be installed from http://store.ovi.com/content/227787.

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Searching files within multiple folders

How to search file contents for a specific phrase using grep within multiple folders. Shows ways for both Linux and Windows.

On Linux, the normal way to search for some text within a file is to use grep (Global Regular Expression Print). However, grep has a limitation: it cannot automatically search folders within the current folder. It can only search within files in the current folder. Today I will show you how to use grep to search within all files and folders inside a current folder (recursively).

Windows users – despair not. If you find the standard windows search brain-dead or want to automate the task through scripts, you can also use this script. I have already explained various ways to run Linux scripts on windows – use the one that suits you.

We will couple grep with the find command, to unleash the power.

Here is what you need to do on Linux (or Cygwin):

find . -type f -exec grep -iH 'dedicated' {} \;

and use this for UnxUtils on Windows:

find . -type f -exec grep -iH "dedicated" \"{}\" ;

This does a case insensitive search for the word ‘dedicated’ in the current folder and all subfolders under it. Change -iH to -H for case sensitive search.

You can read the manuals for find and grep and change the commands to suit your needs – this method provides a lot of flexibility. Post your precise usage in comments, especially for Windows.

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