CSX+ ... and GRETIL

Tue Nov 26 07:49:18 UTC 2002

Dear list members,

Ulrich Stiehl's personal score is 1,200 requests for "Itranslator"
against 10 / 5 for his CSX+ / REE fonts, which leads him to the
conclusion that "the files available from the GRETIL site ... are
destined for a minority of approx. 15 indologists worldwide."
Think of them what you will, but they certainly are busy bees,
each and every one of them having to visit the GRETIL site an average
of 26 times a day - if I may throw in a bit of statistics, too.

But maybe it's a different ball game altogether. For a start, we
should distinguish between fonts and encodings: Although I'm
one of the dinosaurs who, for want of alternatives, use REE
encoding for certain jobs, I haven't used an REE-based font since
around 1989, - and, for reasons explained to Ulrich Stiehl on earlier
occasions, have no intention of doing so in future. And as I infer
from Dominik Wujastyk's response, there does not seem to be a
pressing demand for a new CSX+ font either.

As for encodings, to me REE - like CSX(+) - is just one way of
coping with THE congenital defect of the "personal computer": 437,
the mother of all codepages, was shaped according to the needs of the
English-speaking parts of the world, and later attempts to patch
it up may differ in elaborateness, but not in principle. Anyway,
for the basic needs of GRETIL, one encoding is as good as any
other, as long as it is unambiguous. As for fonts, if Ulrich Stiehl
feels called upon to design fonts for REE and CSX+, that's all
very fine, but it has little to do with GRETIL's three basic
principles: no frames, no frills, no font packages. And, most
importantly, it should not be forgotten that GRETIL is only
intended as a reference tool!

The practical reasons why I opted for REE encoding as a
platform are explained in the introduction:
In addition, CSX(+) not only covers the characters needed for
Dravidian languages etc., it also provides a much broader basis of
communication: I have no idea how many of you actually use
CSX(+), but I have reason to assume that many know how to
handle it, i.e., convert it to the encoding of choice.

It goes without saying that GRETIL cannot cover the entire
range of encodings used for Indian languages. But as it happens,
two more were intended to follow shortly, i.e., Kyoto-Harvard (KyH)
and UTF-8 (Roman). More on this soon to follow in a separate message.

Best regards

Reinhold Gruenendahl

P.S. Please, don't follow up the KyH and UTF-8 links presently
hidden in the source code of the GRETIL archive pages. Until
further notice, this will only produce error messages!


Dr. Reinhold Gruenendahl
Niedersaechsische Staats- und Universitaetsbibliothek
Fachreferat sued- und suedostasiatische Philologien
(Dept. of Indology)

37070 Goettingen, Germany
Tel (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 52 83
Fax (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 23 61
gruenen at mail.sub.uni-goettingen.de

In English:

GRETIL - Goettingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages

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