3.760 Sanskrit e-texts; fonts in TUSTEP (109)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Sun, 19 Nov 89 22:23:19 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 760. Sunday, 19 Nov 1989.

(1) Date: Fri, 17 Nov 89 10:03 (37 lines)
From: Wujastyk (on GEC 4190 Rim-D at UCL) <UCGADKW@EUCLID.UCL.AC.UK>
Subject: Sanskrit texts in machine readable form

(2) Date: 19 November 1989 (52 lines)
From: Wilhelm Ott <ZRSZOT1@DTUZDV2>
Subject: re: 3.751 mixing fonts

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 89 10:03
From: Wujastyk (on GEC 4190 Rim-D at UCL) <UCGADKW@EUCLID.UCL.AC.UK>
Subject: Sanskrit texts in machine readable form

Several Sanskrit texts are available in machine readable form from the
Oxford Text Archive. These include some passages from Kalidasa's
Kumarasambhava, the Bhagavadgita, the Rgveda and the Brahmapurana.

Prof. P. Schreiner, newly appointed Prof. and head of Sanskrit at Zurich
Univ., has keyed a large number of Sanskrit texts, including the
Visnupurana, parts of Manu, Sakuntala, and several other texts.

A project to create a "Thesaurus Linguae Sanskritae" has been started at
the University of Texas at Austin, under the guidance of Prof. R.
Lariviere. That project hopes to be able to provide machine readable
texts of the Mahabharata and Ramayana in the next year or so.

Prof. R. E. Emmerick, Prof. of Iranian Studies at the Univ. of Hamburg,
is supervising a project to key the major Sanskrit medical
encyclopaedias. I believe Caraka, Susruta, and both the Astangahrdaya
and Astangasamgraha have been done (or are close to completion), and of
course the Siddhasara of Ravigupta.

Other texts are floating around, ususally as the result of indiviual
study. A central clearing house is obviously much needed. One cannot
legislate on these matters, obviously, especially since the efforts are
multinational. But I would suggest that the Oxford Archive and the
Texas project are the two most useful sources of such centralized
information as exists.

Best of luck, and please reciprocate by keeping Oxford and Texas
informed of what you are doing, or what you find.


(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 19 November 1989
From: Wilhelm Ott <ZRSZOT1@DTUZDV2>
Subject: re: 3.751 mixing fonts

By mentioning my name, Joseph Raben urges me to break my silence
regarding queries on mixing fonts.

He is right: in TUSTEP, we handle more than one font in a line.
At the moment, these are latin (including all diacritics occuring
- and those not occuring in normal texts, like "m umlaut"
or other combinations needed for some purpose - in languages basically
using the latin alphabet), greek (with breathings and
accents), coptic, hebrew (with vowel signs), cyrillic, syriac,
IPA phonetics. Further fonts (like arabic, old church slavonic)
will follow, according to the needs of our users and their willingness
to invest some time in helping us to develop them. -
The fonts are available only for use within TUSTEP.

Internally, TUSTEP uses a "font shift" code (e.g., "#g+" and "#g-" for
"begin and end greek font"), and a transliteration which uses
non-national use ISO 646 characters only, and which maps the
characters according to the layout of the respective national
typewriter keyboard (as for greek) or to a "phonetic" transcription
widely adopted (as for cyrillic). Therefore, the number of
characters available in one line is not limited to 256 or below.

Hebrew and syriac texts are typed in from left to right, as one
would do when transcribing them using latin characters; they are
reversed only for printing or viewing on the screen. This allows
the user to input, correct and process his texts on any terminal
(including EBCDIC terminals connected to a mainframe; on these
terminals, he has, however, no chance to see hebrew from right
to left and in hebrew characters, as he sees it on the PC).

TUSTEP is not available for the Macintosh; it runs under MVS,
VM/CMS, VMS, MS-DOS. BS2000 and UNIX are planned next.

The silence I kept hitherto is due to the fact that there are
some obstacles for TUSTEP to be present more internationally: it
speaks German only. Though we have begun to translate the user
documentation into English, the programs still speak German.
A second reason is that the documentation mentioned is not a
self-teaching text, but a reference book. I hope that also this will
change in near future - we have begun to write an introductory
text; but, since our mother language is German, also this text
will first be available in German.

A second reason for not intervening earlier is that, though
handling of fonts is a necessary feature of a package like TUSTEP,
it is not its main concern.

Wilhelm Ott, Univ. of Tuebingen <ZRSZOT1 at DTUZDV2>