[avinash at acm.org: Re: [Claude_Setzer at fcsmtp.mum.edu: 7 Bit tutorial]]

Girish Beeharry gkb at ast.cam.ac.uk
Tue Dec 17 19:55:31 UTC 1996


The following forwarded email might be of some interest to members of this 


Girish Beeharry

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Subject: Re: [Claude_Setzer at fcsmtp.mum.edu: 7 Bit tutorial]
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> From: Claude_Setzer at fcsmtp.mum.edu (Claude Setzer)
> To: Members of the list <indology at liverpool.ac.uk>
> Subject: 7 Bit tutorial

> With respect to email, there are two separate problems: body text and attached
> files. It is possible for an email system to independently use 7 or 8 bits
This makes it a problem for people sending 8-bit text, mismatch in 
e-mail/encode/decode software, though it is not a major problem today.
Note that though e-mail protocols are only guaranteed to be 7-bit clean,
HTML protocol is 8-bit clean, so WWW pages can contain 8-bit chars.

> computers must have a font with the same character placement.

This is still a major problem, and this is what makes things so hard.
Getting 8-bit text displayed the same on the three major platforms:
PC, Mac, UNIX/X11 is a major problem. Even today this is a headache,
and there are many tricks that one has to resort to make this work.
[I've outlined these tricks in the ITRANS 5.0 home page...]

But basically, the reason I bumped into this problem was when I tried
to use the CSUtopia font - a 8-bit encoding that includes CS/CSX glyphs
on the PC -- it would not work! It also did not work on X11R6, or on the Mac!
It only worked correctly with PostScript printers...all the workarounds I learnt
in making this work cause me to believe that the computer industry is very
slow in making progress, it will still be a year or so when 8-bit fonts will
work correctly across the three major platforms, and once that is achieved,
then we'll have to suffer a similar "learning" period for Unicode, etc...
But yes, I agree with you, we must start with reachable goals, and for now,
setting a goal of making a 8-bit font and encoding [one that also works
across all platforms] workable is a very good one...

Of course, all this matters only if we need text to be transported and input-able
on all three platforms. This I think is a major required feature, and if this
is not achieved, we'll still continue to have arguments over issues of what
is the "best" transliteration and best way to handle Indic Script text...

> The point I am trying to make is that computers use 8 bit fonts anyway, and
> our lives will probably become much easier and simpler if we put our time into

Isn't this already done, with the CS/CSX encoding developed by the
Indology group/Dominik Wujastyk?

> Claude Setzer       csetzer at mum.edu    or    cssetzer at mum.edu

- -- 
Avinash Chopde
e-mail: avinash at acm.org
home page: http://www.paranoia.com/~avinash/
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