What's New

Project SILA: SIL.ORG Graphite and Mozilla Intergration Project

Why are we working on this project?

SILA is a Mozilla development effort supported by UNESCO and SIL International. It is a key component of a joint project between UNESCO and SIL being carried out within the framework of UNESCO's Initiative B@bel ( and SIL's Non-Roman Script Initiative ( B@bel seeks to provide wider more equitable access to information content and services on the Internet for all users, (particularly developing countries and those in transition) by promoting linguistic diversity in cyberspace and using information and communication technologies (ICTs), to protect and preserve endangered languages. The development of technologies which enable minority language communities to publish on the Internet is a substantial contribution to this effort. Many language communities in the world today are not able to participate in the information age because their language cannot be implemented on today's computer systems. This causes a "digital divide". The goal of this project is to help eliminate this divide by designing and producing freely available software for these language communities. To learn more about this project please see


  1. Firefox and Thunderbird versions available for testing with more complete Graphite support (05/15/2005).
  2. Substantial changes to the Design to allow Selection and Cursor tracking support.
  3. Drusilla (Linux version of SILA) alpha version available for download (based on Mozilla 1.5 and SIL Graphite 1.0). Require the first install SIL Graphite 1.0. Known Issue- Ascent / Descent adjustment is not implement yet.
  4. Beta 2 Release Candidate 1 Build is Available for tester to test !!!! (6/26/2003). A lot of bug got fix from Beta 1.
  5. SILA Design Document available for review (Note: there have now been substantial changes to this, to allow selection/cursor tracking support)
  6. SIL put some Graphite fonts under "Download Graphite Fonts" page. Now testers can get those fonts easier. These fonts can be installer with standard Windows font installation procedure now. Graphite additional font installation procedure is no longer needed with the new silgraphite.


Everybody in mosdev should know what what Mozilla is, so I won't spend time to talk about Mozilla here. If you really don't know, visit to learn more.

Graphite is an open source project SIL International put together in September 2001. It is a complex script / language rendering engine origional written for Window platform. Currently there are other open source group port the Graphite window base code into Linux platform. Read the Graphite site for more information. The current module owner of Graphite is Sharon Correll <>.

Project SILA starts when Sharon Correll proposed to Frank Yung-Fong Tang <> to intergrate Graphite rendering engine into Mozilla code during the 22th International Unicode Conference. After understand Sharon's vision about Graphite, Frank decided to spend his personal time to help Sharon to intergrate Graphite into the window version of Mozilla.


Project Sila now has the following scope:
  1. Intergrate a stable version of Graphite with Mozilla
  2. Windows and Linux versions only for now.
  3. Won't try to check in Graphite code into Mozilla. Won't try to check in Mozilla code into Graphite neither. (Hopefully, this will change soon)
  4. No build dependency on each others
  5. Make Graphite fonts display correctly under Mozilla
  6. Editing, Caret, and Selection support


The current Design modifies the code in both the gfx and layout modules, to enable both rendering and proper Caret and Selection support.


Document Author: Frank Yung-Fong Tang (Project founder)
Document Author: Keith Stribley (Editing, Selection support)

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The sila project can be contacted through the mailing list or the member list.
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