I am running Debain lenny recently apt-get updated and installed. I got these quirks sorted out.
1) got Kannada Unicode to render properly on Firefox, after spoiling it badly.
2) got to type Kannada properly on all places
3) got Firefox translations for kannada
4) set kannada as preferred language in Firefox ( Firefox tells websites about this. The only website that honoured the setting was google, but i was pleased)
5) Get the whole gnome in Kannada
1) Kannada Unicode rendering on Firefox :
This really should not have been a problem at all. This was my own stupidity. Even before I started out to go to some Kannada website, I airily set a few fonts too Freesans. Then i saw that pages dont render properly, after I tried different stupidities franctically and vainly , I thought I will just reset all the configuration. To do this quick, I just entered about:config and researched for freesans, and "reset"' the values to defaults. This fixed the rendering and I was back in business.
As Sans-Serif is a magic font, it chooses the right kannada fonts magically.
And obviously, before starting off with anything ttf-indic-fonts were installed.
2) Kannada typing in all places.
This was simple. After a bit of googling (I wish I hadn't erased the history of Firefox) I found a page where a Japanese guy had solved the same problem like this :
in /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/scim .
This worked like magic, I could use SCIM in all places, after I used im-switch to set scim as my default Input module.
For getting easy Kannada typing, I needed to install scim, scim-m17n and itrans packages and these also pulled some dependencies. After that, itt was smooth sailing with kn-itrans option available under Kannada.
To get the language list, just click the little keyboard icon in the system tray. ( After first installation, you need to re-login to get it). Note:you need to Left click on the system tray SCIM icon(little keyboard), not right click, which would give you setup options.
3) Firefox kannada translation
This one was easy
$ apt-get install iceweasel-l10n-kn
$ LANG=kn_IN iceweasel
The LANG=kn_IN iceweasel can be kept in a script and the panel launcher's properties could be set to launch the script. Anyways, Item (5) must obsolete it if it succeeds.
4) Preferred web content set to kannada in Firefox.
Again, pretty Simple:
Main Menu->Edit/Tools-> Preferences->Content->Languages
Or if you already followed item (3):
Once you add Kannada in the list of languages, dont forget to move it to the top(order indicates the priority). Once this is done, you must find that google presents itself in Kannada.
5) GNOME in Kannada
I searched for kannada packages for GNOME for a long time. Then an angel from #kannada on irc.freenode.net made me realize that Kannada was installed with GNOME
all along! Stupid me. Just checked /usr/share/locale/kn/LC_MESSAGES/ and they were all there. But LANG=kn_IN gedit, LC_ALL=kn_IN gedit, all failed to present in Kannada.Then the same angel hinted me to run
That reminded me that I was presented with the same UI during installation, and I had neglected it. Damn! Well, it re-generated and configured the languages I chose. after that LANG=kn_IN gedit just worked. So If I am not wrong, a re-login should add Kannada to the list of languages at the GDM login screen, and all the LANG=kn_IN should be unnecessary.
I will be writing to the GNOME's Debain package manager asking to include dpkg-reconfigure locales as a menu item in system->administration :-P.
I have rebooted and here is a screenshot :