Finally, I found the solution to the Firefox Urdu Font related bug in Dapper. Me, the newbie, the linux illiterate who didn’t even know Tux; I solved a bug in an open source software that I am using on my open source operating system.
After upgrading to Dapper, I found that Firefox in Dapper does not render Urdu fonts properly. Since I spend a lot of time reading Urdu blogs and news sites, it was a major issue. It even forced me to install Konqueror, Galeon, Epiphany, Swiftfox, Firefox’s mozilla built. I spent many hours reading bug reports, comments on the bug reports, following different forum discussions and sharing my problem with users on all these platforms. I tried many solutions none of them worked out. On my way I found that several other people using different Linux distros were facing the same problem.
Then finally I found a discussion where some users were suggesting that Pango support should be disabled for Firefox. They suggested eachother to add MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO=1 line in /etc/environment file. I tried this solution but it didn’t work. Then I tried MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO=0 and bingo!
Now I can read Urdu web pages and firefox renders these web pages perfectly displaying Urdu fonts beautifully even better than the Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows.
I am not sure about what was really wrong with Firefox but I guess that Ubuntu Dapper has pango support enabled for selective locales only. Firefox didn’t render Urdu fonts using Pango. I am not sure about this and would be grateful if someone confirms this to me.
The moral of story is that my Ubuntu Linux is very powerful and using it I can do whatever I want. You the windows user? Can you do this with your Windows?