3.1141 ghosts; e-Bible; Turbo Fonts; VuWriter (112)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 7 Mar 90 08:14:04 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1141. Wednesday, 7 Mar 1990.

(1) Date: Sat, 3 Mar 90 13:51:00 EST (16 lines)
From: "HALPORN,JAMES,CLAS" <halpornj@ucs.indiana.edu>

(2) Date: Tue, 06 Mar 90 12:37:08 MEZ (17 lines)
From: Alfred Suhl <ANT01@DMSWWU1A>
Subject: E-Bible, Anfrage Mark Olsen

(3) Date: 05 Mar 90 21:53:35 EST (53 lines)
From: James O'Donnell <JODONNEL@PENNSAS>
Subject: Turbo-fonts; VUWRITER

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 90 13:51:00 EST
From: "HALPORN,JAMES,CLAS" <halpornj@ucs.indiana.edu>

The discussion of keyboard mapping by various gurus and programmers
reminds me of the exchange between Owen Glendower and Hotspur in I
Henry IV.3.1:
Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man:
But will they come when you do call for them?

If you think of the relationship between keyboard, display, and
printer, I think my meaning is clear.

Jim Halporn (Classics/CompLit, Indiana U -- HALPORNJ@UCS.INDIANA.EDU)

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------25----
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 90 12:37:08 MEZ
From: Alfred Suhl <ANT01@DMSWWU1A>
Subject: E-Bible, Anfrage Mark Olsen

Mark Olsen fragt: >Can anyone point me to French and German editions of the
Bible in electronic form?<
Die Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft in D-7000 Stuttgart, Balinger Strasse 31
verkauft mehrere Versionen der Luther-Bibel auf Diskette und CD-ROM. Auf
der CD-ROM - Version gibt es ausserdem andere deutsche Bibeluebersetzungen
sowie ein sehr leistungsfaehiges Suchprogramm COBRA.
Ausserdem gibt es im deutschen Buchhandel die Luther-Bibel im ASCII-Code
auf 7 oder 10 Disketten fuer nur DM 80.- und ausserdem die Elberfelder
Bibel auf Diskette fuer DM 70.-
Leider habe ich im Augenblick den Katalog nicht bei mir; bei bedarf gebe
ich gern die Preise und Bestellnummern fuer die Stuttgarter Bibelgesell-
schaft bekannt.
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------58----
Date: 05 Mar 90 21:53:35 EST
From: James O'Donnell <JODONNEL@PENNSAS>
Subject: Turbo-fonts; VUWRITER

From: Jim O'Donnell (Classics, Penn)

Turbo-fonts is an add on to give screen and printer Greek capacity to word
processing. I used it several years ago with WordPerfect 4.1, found it
cumbersome and not especially pleasant to look at on the page, and so have not
paid attention to any later developments. The main problem was that it
provided Greek by replacing ASCII characters 128 through 255, but since it
needed a different character for every combination of accent/vowel/breathing,
it ran out of space (there are more than 128 `characters' counting that way in
Greek) and so was reduced to backspace/overstrike combinations that did not
screen display and that were variously problematic on the page.

The VUWRITER question urges the classicist to fantasize. There is no program
in either Mac or IBM now putting Greek on screen and paper that is fully
satisfactory, but it must be admitted that Mac is far ahead, with a program
called SMK Greekkeys (distributed now through the American Philological
Association) that works with Microsoft Word and produces very acceptable
near-typeset-quality output: I'm involved in a publishing project that uses it
all the time. Even that could be better, and nothing in IBM is anywhere near
as good. NotaBene is a very good word processor and does do Greek, but screen
display is a little cramped and (I hear this may change soon) laser fonts are
limited. WordPerfect is obtusely uninterested in the subject (they *think*
they already do Greek in 5. 1, which is true in one sense and not true at all
in another); I know of one add-on (Scripture Fonts) that gives Greek and
Hebrew, but the printer output there is still very limited. It would be *very*
good to have a high-quality word processor that gave you as much variety and
choice among Greek, both on screen and paper, as we have among Roman
characters. This would require a very large character set (to include all
brackets, dotted characters, etc. used by papyrologists and epigraphers: any
company putting together such software should get a good young Grecian with a
lot of papyrus/epigraphy experience to consult in great detail on this), and a
variety of fonts, both sizes and styles. A rather cursive font is the standard
(e.g., Oxford Classical Texts, who call their type `Porson Greek' after a
famously brilliant drunkard: a Cambridge man), but by no means necessarily:
the fine old Complutensian Polyglot Bible of Cardinal Ximenes from the 16th
century offers a handsome example of what a squarer font can be.

Somehow I doubt the fantasy will come true any time soon. Real software
developers find themselves making tradeoffs very early on that limit the
fantasy. The main thing is the character set, the second thing is legibility
on screen and paper. (Also important is compatibility: there is an
international standard, because of TLG/Irvine, for Roman-alphabet
representation of Greek texts, so-called Beta format. Any processor should at
a minimum provide a conversion program to turn Beta Greek into Greek it can
read, and the ideal processor would include an out-migration conversion
program that would turn *its* Greek back into Beta format for sharing with
others who have different programs. But software developers seem *never* to be
interested in compatibility questions, at least not out-migration questions.