Re: Um...help with unicode?
|From:||Muke Tever <mktvr@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 4, 2002, 3:10|
From: "Mat McVeagh" <matmcv@...>
> But it seems a lot of things can't or don't use Unicode. So if we use
> Unicode will it always work? I.e., will we be able to read what other people
> are writing, and vice versa? If not, how do you get around it?
> Secondly, suppose you plump for Unicode as I now am doing. (I am planning to
> be writing in languages with lots of different accents, IPA, and it would be
> nice to do e.g. Greek. I don't want to have to switch between encoding
> systems or character sets. I don't really know how to.) That doesn't mean
> you can just type or read everything. Oh no. You have to have special fonts
> installed. All the old fonts are useless.
I don't think any old fonts should be useless: TrueType fonts (the most common
on Windows) are Unicode-capable. The only fonts that are "bad" are the fonts
that are bad to begin with (e.g. one that would map gamma to n-tilde just so
that it could be typed from the keyboard).
> And, seemingly, there are not fonts yet for all areas of Unicode.
There's Code2000/Code2001, which are not entirely pretty, but are usable.
> Next... you get Unicode up, you've got the fonts installed... now how do you
> type the characters? You need a special 'keyboard'. I.e. a protocol for
> interpreting keystrokes on what physical keyboard you have as characters.
> (Of course you could use Character Map or an equivalent but let's face it
> that is hopelessly laborious and fiddly.) So... you need to download special
> keyboard drivers that link in to particular characters. If you are using
> Unicode of course these must be Unicode keyboards; no other keyboards will
> do. And it seems you can only type in some fonts if you have the appropriate
> keyboard for them, etc. etc.
You wouldn't necessarily need keyboard drivers. A decent unicode-aware editor
would allow you to define your own keyboard layout any way you wanted. [And
there is at least one that does this, SC UniPad, which you already mentioned.]
There is also IME software out there that enables international character
> OK. You have Unicode, relevant fonts to display your chosen character sets
> with, relevant keyboards to type the characters with nice and easy. Now...
> where do you type them? Any old where? NO! You cannot do Unicode at all with
No problem here.
> Someone suggested you might be able to with Wordpad, but I have yet
> to see how. MS Word, certainly, which you would expect. (But I find it a
> big, clunky, cumbersome program for anything less than a dissertation. Too
> many options, not easy to get in and out of.) How about Outlook Express? (I
> am struggling.)
Outlook Express can certainly send messages in UTF-8; it's been done on the list
before [but not usually, as the listserv tends to mangle some bits].
> Or Hotmail?
Depends on your web browser (and, indirectly, your operating system...)
> How about webpage design programs? All I know is
> FrontPage Express. I have yet to try it with Unicode :S.
I do mine in UltraEdit, which supports Unicode entry (but I generally use
&#xxxx; instead of a format like UTF-8, which may not exactly be the Right
> Let's suppose you have found a way to compose neatly in Unicode, and can do
> textfiles, word-processed documents, webpages, typing in different fonts and
> character sets in the same piece, and hence can mix ordinary text with your
> accented conlang and phonetic transcriptions. Now... will your browser show
> it properly? Will it handle Unicode properly? Or all the relevant fonts?
Mine will, as long as the page has set its properties correctly [On some pages
kanji will appear and on some the same kanji won't...]
> And will your readers, to whom you have sent your masterpiece, or who are
> browsing your site?
Produce an low-ASCII or alternative version (PDF maybe) if there is an