Proposal from Michael Everson to be discussed at the 27 Aug board meeting.
Indonesia is a country made up of many peoples. In addition to the national language, Bahasa Indonesia, languages like Javanese and Balinese are spoken, both having their own alphabets and literary traditions. There are also smaller peoples like the Batak --http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batak -- living in Indonesia. Like Javanese and Balinese, the Batak language has its own script --http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batak_(Schrift) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batak_script -- which has only recently been encoded in the Universal Character Set (Unicode). To date, no free (or even commercial) font has been developed for Batak. As you know, without a Unicode-enabled font, it is not possible to have a presence for a script and therefore for a language to be used in MediaWiki.
The history of the Batak as an independent people ended after military actions by the Dutch in the latter days of the nineteenth century. Now the Batak are a mainly Christian people with a Moslem minority. The representation of the Batak history is not well-known even locally, and this is partly true because the source documents in the Batak language are not easy to disseminate.
The creation of a Batak font will enable a renaissance in the study of source Batak documents. This will also encourage our GLAM partners like the Tropenmuseum to make documents in the Batak language available. As many Batak documents are now found outside of Indonesia, support for the creation of a Batak font can be the impetus to make documents available as a scan. They can in turn be transcribed in the Batak language on Wikisource and consequently become available to the people of Indonesia and particularly the Batak.
The deliverable for this €5,000 project will be a Unicode-enabled TrueType font with correct shaping behaviour for Batak vowels and consonants. This funding will enable the fond development as well as the release of the font under the SIL Open Font License. Specifications for keyboard input will also be developed: Indonesian users prefer a QWERTY-transliteration layout. There may be scope for more than one specification however, as different dialect users prefer easy access to different encoded letterforms.
Michael Everson -- http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Everson -- led the effort to encode Batak in Unicode in previous years, and he will be the person responsible for development and release of the font. He will work with Batak specialist and linguist Uli Kozok as his principle tester.