Opened 2 years ago

Last modified 2 years ago

#22952 needs_information defect

Tor Browser Arabic Fonts Issue !

Reported by: sigma4111 Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: tbb-fingerprinting-fonts
Cc: dcf, arthuredelstein Actual Points:
Parent ID: #18097 Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

Hi. can you help me kindly to resolve fonts issue with this site:

https://sites.google.com/site/arcommunistslibrary

This site in Arabic language. Please look to it in normal firefox browser (on Windows or Linux), then compare it with it's appearance in Tor (regullar Tor or Tor of Tails are same error).

On Tor, size of fonts are big (look for right sidebar navigation for example). Fonts of Arabic contents are not the original fonts !

How to solve this error ? I tried the following (but failed):
"preferences", then "contents", then from "fonts & colors" selected "advanced" & set the following:

  • fonts for: Arabic
  • proportional: sans sarif
  • sarif: sans sarif
  • sans sarif: sansarif
  • monospace: monospace

then I tried (but also failed):

  • fonts for: Arabic
  • proportional: sans
  • sarif: sans
  • sans sarif: sans
  • monospace: monospace

then I tried (& also failed):

  • fonts for: Arabic
  • proportional: sans sarif
  • sarif: sans
  • sans sarif: san sarif
  • monospace: monospace

In all above cases, I had 2 subtrials: 1st with uncheck "allow pages to choose their owen fonts" box, & 2nd with check this box (after failure when uncheck it).

In all above trails, after set parameters, I restart Tor browser. All my effort failed !!

I contact their owners on their e-mail that existing on their site. They inform me that they use "Arial" as the default fonts for their site, & most content on their site are in "Arial".

Please, is their any fix for this issue ?

Best

Child Tickets

Attachments (1)

sample.png (131.3 KB) - added by sigma4111 2 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (17)

comment:1 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

I forget to mention the following: Arabic characters displayed correctly regarding their meaning. They do not appearing as sequeres or dots or other symboles. Issue is just about their fonts that appeared in Tor browser. Font of contents is wrong. They should displayed as Arial, but they displayed as other Arabic fonts which is not the original !

comment:2 Changed 2 years ago by dcf

Component: Webpages/WebsiteApplications/Tor Browser
Keywords: tbb-fingerprinting-fonts added
Owner: set to tbb-team
Summary: Web Site Arabic Fonts Issue !Tor Browser Arabic Fonts Issue !
Version: Tor: unspecified

Tor Browser uses a built-in set of font files in order to prevent font fingerprinting. If Tor Browser allowed a site to use Arial, then a web server could fingerprint you by detecting whether you have the Arial font installed or not.

But, if the fonts look really bad, it's possible we can work together to include a font file that looks better.

For me, the font on that page is Noto Naskh Arabic. Is the the same for you?

I recategorized your ticket from Webpages/Website to Applications/Tor Browser because the former is only about the torproject.org website.

comment:3 Changed 2 years ago by gk

Parent ID: #18097
Status: newneeds_information

Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Attachment: sample.png added

comment:4 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Hi. Thank you for your kind replay & attantion !

I do not know name of font currently used by Tor to display contents of this site. I attached screenshot. See it to verify it's type.

I not sure how you like me to help ? I understood - please correct to me - Tor not allowed to use system fonts so as to protect from fingerprint. This mean - please correct to me - it "Arial" is used from within Tor (by being one of Tor owen built-in set of fonts) then no risk, but if used from outside Tor (from system fonts) it will be risky. For that, we need to add "Arial" to Tor owen built-in set of fonts to be one of them by default ? Is this what you plan to do, or something else ?

I can supply you by files for Arabic fonts (like Arial), if you like ...

Currently, display of this site is really uggly.

comment:5 in reply to:  4 Changed 2 years ago by cypherpunks

Replying to sigma4111:

I not sure how you like me to help ? I understood - please correct to me - Tor not allowed to use system fonts so as to protect from fingerprint. This mean - please correct to me - it "Arial" is used from within Tor (by being one of Tor owen built-in set of fonts) then no risk, but if used from outside Tor (from system fonts) it will be risky. For that, we need to add "Arial" to Tor owen built-in set of fonts to be one of them by default ? Is this what you plan to do, or something else ?

I can supply you by files for Arabic fonts (like Arial), if you like ...

The right way to do this is to provide your own fonts on that website (if you're the website owner) that get loaded.

In any case, this does not look like an issue with the Tor Browser.

comment:6 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Hi again.

1) I'm not the owner of this site. I'm just visitor & downloader from it.

2) The issue is related to Tor browser itself. You may had idea that it is not related to Tor itself may be due to screenshot which show that I view it by Tails, isn't it the case ? No, I contact Tails 1st & they inform me that it is not related to Tails but to Tor itself & recommend me to contact you & open a bug about it.

3) I invistigated issue: it is existing on Tor browser on Debian, Tails, CentOS, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10. So, it is not related to OS. It is specific to Tails.

4) During my contact with Tails support, I contact owners of this site on their e-mail that posted on their page. I asked them specifically about default fonts used by them & their replay was: [....most contents of this site in "Arial" & fiew "Time new Romman"... Google sites editor has option to select default fonts for contents ... we using "Arial" as default fonts ...]


Now you like me to supply you by fonts files ?

comment:7 in reply to:  4 Changed 2 years ago by dcf

Replying to sigma4111:

I can supply you by files for Arabic fonts (like Arial), if you like ...

Currently, display of this site is really uggly.

We wouldn't be able to use Arial exactly, because it is not available under a free license. For the same reason, Arial will never be a part of Tails or Debian.

You can see what fonts are being used this way:

  1. Right-click on the text.
  2. Choose "Inspect Element" from the menu that appears.
  3. A new panel will open on the browser and there will be a tab labeled "Fonts". (For me it is on the right side.)

We might be able to make some progress if you can do that on a browser where the text looks good, and tell us what font is being used.

comment:8 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Why you do not perform this by yourself ?

Any how, I did this using regular Firefox with default setting (not set on "Arial" by default, & allow sites to select it's owen fonts. Take result: "Arial" (or "Arial Bold" or "Arial italic") are the fonts for all contents that I tested. Only one exception is head of site which is both "George bold" + "Time new Roman bold".

In this case how can I help further ? If "Arial" not free to be used in Tor browser, what we can do ?

By the way, what about "Time new Roman" ? Is it also not free ?

Please notice that regarding head of site, English part of title appear correct in Tor while Arabic part of title not appearing correctly - regarding font type.

comment:9 in reply to:  8 ; Changed 2 years ago by dcf

Replying to sigma4111:

Why you do not perform this by yourself ?

I don't read Arabic, I don't know what fonts look good or look bad. My computer has different fonts than yours, so even if I try the result will be different.

I tried it in Tor Browser and the font was Noto Naskh Arabic, but you already said that one does not look good.

Any how, I did this using regular Firefox with default setting (not set on "Arial" by default, & allow sites to select it's owen fonts. Take result: "Arial" (or "Arial Bold" or "Arial italic") are the fonts for all contents that I tested. Only one exception is head of site which is both "George bold" + "Time new Roman bold".

Do you have access to a Linux computer where the fonts look good? If so, what fonts are they? Those are more likely to be fonts that we can use.

Arial, Georgia, and Times New Roman are Microsoft fonts that we wouldn't be able to include.

comment:10 in reply to:  9 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Replying to dcf:

Replying to sigma4111:
Do you have access to a Linux computer where the fonts look good? If so, what fonts are they? Those are more likely to be fonts that we can use.

Arial, Georgia, and Times New Roman are Microsoft fonts that we wouldn't be able to include.

You mean that you cann not add default fonts of this site to Tor for being unlicened, & you can only allow fonts installed by default on Linux ? If yes, this is bad news, because I tried Linux Arabic fonts on various distros. (Debian, CentOS, Linux Mint, openSUSE) & they are not good !

In this case, it would be better if you give me a website offering free Arabic fonts that their licences allow you to include them in Tor. I will examine them on LibreOffice to see which of them nearest to "Arial" & "Time new romman" then will inform you ... Currently you supplied me in your 1st replay by link I got from it only 3 Arabic fonts, & best one was "Noto Naskh Arabic" ! Do you have other sites ?

comment:11 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Hi. I tried so many Arabic fonts in previous hrs.

Unfortuantly, I think that we can not fix this issue. The cause is the following: there are so many Arabic fonts (1000s) but unfortuantly most of them are decorated ! This mean that most of them are useless to our issue because they make it more un-approperiat. Also, the convenent Arabic fonts that can make display of site O.K are the following:

  • Arial (default fonts used by site itself = it's real font)
  • Time new roman
  • Arabic transparent
  • Simplified Arabic

All of above 4 fonts are not free in terms that needed so as to be included in Tor !!

In this case no thing we can do !

Hewever, furtuantly, it is just cosmatic issue ....

I would like, at end of this tickt, to say:

1) thank you Tor browser team for introducing this project (Tor browser),

2) thank you Tails OS team 4 times (not single time), because indeed Tor browser alone is useless in dealing with such e-library site that all it's books are posted as PDF files that are impossible to be downloaded over Tor network by using Tor browser outside Tails OS...

comment:12 in reply to:  11 Changed 2 years ago by dcf

Replying to sigma4111:

2) thank you Tails OS team 4 times (not single time), because indeed Tor browser alone is useless in dealing with such e-library site that all it's books are posted as PDF files that are impossible to be downloaded over Tor network by using Tor browser outside Tails OS...

The PDF download issue sounds like a known bug: #22471

You can work around the bug by right-clicking and "Save As..." instead of using the download button.

comment:13 in reply to:  11 Changed 2 years ago by dcf

Cc: dcf added

Replying to sigma4111:

Hi. I tried so many Arabic fonts in previous hrs.

Unfortuantly, I think that we can not fix this issue. The cause is the following: there are so many Arabic fonts (1000s) but unfortuantly most of them are decorated ! This mean that most of them are useless to our issue because they make it more un-approperiat. Also, the convenent Arabic fonts that can make display of site O.K are the following:

  • Arial (default fonts used by site itself = it's real font)
  • Time new roman
  • Arabic transparent
  • Simplified Arabic

All of above 4 fonts are not free in terms that needed so as to be included in Tor !!

I want to thank you for taking the time to test so many fonts.

How about the fonts at https://ar.wikipedia.org/, are they they same (bad) as on your sample page? Or does it look okay? Wikipedia also seems to be using font-family: sans-serif, Arial.

I wonder, is it a difference between Naskh and Kufi scripts? To me, the Kufi version looks more "sans-serif" (perhaps a better match for Arial).

Tor Browser contains NotoNaskhArabic-Regular.ttf but not NotoKufiArabic-Regular.ttf. If it really makes pages look better, we could consider adding NotoKufiArabic-Regular.ttf.

comment:14 Changed 2 years ago by sigma4111

Hi again. No need to add "Noto Kufi Arabic". It will make display too bad. It is a decorated fonts ...

comment:15 Changed 2 years ago by arthuredelstein

Cc: arthuredelstein added

comment:16 in reply to:  11 Changed 2 years ago by arthuredelstein

Replying to sigma4111:

Also, the convenent Arabic fonts that can make display of site O.K are the following:

  • Arial (default fonts used by site itself = it's real font)

On Windows, Arial is whitelisted because it is a system font available by default on all Windows versions. Furthermore, there is no additional bundled Arabic font on the Windows version of Tor Browser. That means Tor Browser will display Arabic text with Arial on Windows. I checked the website and confirmed that the Arial is being used to display the Arabic text.

I then compared Firefox and Tor Browser on Windows and the rendering of the site looks identical to me on both browsers. Arial is used in both cases.

Finally I looked at Linux: the Arabic text looks like it is rendered in a very similar font size to the size used on the site in Windows. So I'm not sure I understand what the concern is here.

Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.