5.0339 Multilingual WP (3/144)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sat, 28 Sep 1991 17:53:15 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0339. Saturday, 28 Sep 1991.
Subject: Multilingual WP

(1) Date: Thu, 26 Sep 91 12:40:00 BST (33 lines)
From: DEL2@phoenix.cambridge.ac.uk
Subject: 5.0337 Multilingual WP ...

(2) Date: Thu, 26 Sep 91 16:59 CDT (58 lines)
Subject: 5.0337 Multilingual WP ...

(3) Date: Sat, 28 Sep 1991 19:33 +0100 (53 lines)
Subject: 5.0337 Multilingual WP ...

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 91 12:40:00 BST
From: DEL2@phoenix.cambridge.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [5.0337 Multilingual WP, OSs, characters, fonts (1/121)]

Richard Goerwitz doth protest too much, methinks, in the DOS versus Apple
debate (I know NeXT to nothing about the other machine). The Apple
approach, which is essentially WYSIWYG, is certainly not the last word.
It isn't quite true to say that "A user should be able to utilize any
font of any size he or she wants, and use it any time it seems useful to
do so. The Mac allows you to do this. ... A Mac is a good, basic
solution to the problem :-)."

The problem is that the Mac does *not* allow you the sort of control
that I for one want; its text processors have a nasty habit of
accommodating extra- large characters by suddenly increasing linedepth,
for instance and leaving a very unsightly page. And the only text
processors I have tried whihc include right-to-left fonts, while you can
*enter* the text fine, are a pig when it comes to extensive *editing*.

There is an alternative to the
What-you-see-is-all-you-can-get(-if-you're- lucky) approach. It's
called TeX. Its increased sophistication may be seen by the fact that
it is now marketed *for the Mac*. It certainly has Hebrew, Arabic and
Nagari fonts, I cannot speak for Chinese. And there's a l-to-r and
r-to-l form called XeT-Tex (I think). I don't wish to spark off an
extensive debate (again! :-( ) on the rival merits of CLI verus GUI
approaches to computing; but we certainly cannot just write the one off.
Ultimately, until the perfect system arrives, I think that Larry is
right. You decide just how much you want, and find an adequate
compromise. For me, CLI text processors are a better compromise than

Regards, Douglas de Lacey, Cambridge.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------52----
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 91 16:59 CDT
Subject: 5.0337 Multilingual WP, OSs, characters, fonts (1/121)

In response to Richard Goerwitz's recent posting about multi-lingual
wordprocessing & MSDOS, etc., in which he states that he "strongly
disagrees" with my earlier remarks about what is possible with current
MSDOS machines and appropriate software, I beg the list's indulgence
to make a last (for me, I hope) comment or two.

First, no question--Richard knows a lot about hardware that I don't
understand. I'm not in any way able to comment on MAC's Next's or
how any of the damn things work.

Second, I don't know about the problems connected with Chinese or
Arabic display (don't use the languages).

But, third, I do know what I can do with my machine, using my software,
and Richard doesn't seem to be fully familiar with these matters. He
says he "disagrees" with me, but I can't find his disagreement. He
prefers better machinery than we presently have, and I support such
preferences, hopes, aspirations--whatever. But nothing he said refutes
what I said--which is simply that (a) you CAN get fully functional
multi-lingual wordprocessing on various present day machines (such as my
MSSDOS Toshiba) using readily available, easy to use software. On the
latter especially, let me note that with the ScriptureFonts add-on to
Wordperfect 5.0 or 5.1 you CAN get Greek and Hebrew (in scalable fonts)
with Hebrew insertable either left to right or right to left, and in
either Israeli or classical script. Likewise, with CHi-Writer you can
do the same, and they allow you to do Arabic apparently.
Now the Hebrew and Greek are fully displayed, but some special
characters in the extended Wordperfect sets display only in print
preview mode.

With something fabulous called Publisher's Powerpak (Atech Software),
installed in Wordperfect or Microsoft Word (and a couple other word-
processor packages) you can get fully scalable fonts (2 to 72 pt)
on any printer (including simple 9 pin dot matrix ones), for only
$79.95. This add-on package can be souped up also with a host of
extra fonts from the same firm (I'm merely a happy customer, no
commission on sales!).

Now, I know all this involves having to sniff out add-on software,
and making sure you have a machine with a hard-disk and a good
graphics card--and maybe someday all machines will come out fully
equipped with everyone we would ever need. But, for now, I CAN
do what I say I can, and Richard hasn't shown otherwise.

Moreover, I can do what I say with an investment considerably less
than the cost of a Next or even a MAc. U.S. readers will easily
find out what a IBM clone with a 386 processor, vga card, and hard
disk will cost. that's all the hardware I need to do what I say.
Maybe future machines will make life even easier, but compared to
what I had to settle for even three years ago, I feel great!

So, Richard, I see the glass as "half full" not "half empty."

Regards, Larry Hurtado, Univ. of Manitoba.

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------69----
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 1991 19:33 +0100
Subject: Re: 5.0337 Multilingual WP, OSs, characters, fonts (1/121)

On multilingual word processing

If you do want multilingual document preparation I highly recommend TeX
as the appropriate formatter. Together with an suitable macro package
(LaTeX or EDMACS) it is also fairly comfortable to use.

TeX can now (Version 3.0 and higher) switch between several languages in
one document and hyphenate according to the rules for each language.

There are now fonts available (dcfonts), which contain the characters
needed for nearly all european languages. Fonts for non-latin writing
are available, too, for example cyrillic, greek, tamil, devanagri,
hebrew and arabic.

Documents prepared in TeX are perfectly portable, since TeX runs on a
huge range of machines including mainframes, worstations, pcs (MS-Dos),
Ataris, Macs, Amigas and even the Archimedes. You can send them by
mail, since only printable ASCII characters are used in input.

TeX is highly standardised, so that the output should not differe on
different machines.

This wonder system does not cost $1000, it is available free! (Commercial
versions with more or less support by the vendors exist in addition).

Extensions to TeX are able to handle right to left text processing and
switching between the two directions.

At last, the output is of high quality and can submitted as camera-ready
copy to the printer.

For more information, you can contact:

TeX Users Group,
P.O.Box 9506
Providence RI 02940-9506, USA

The following listserv lists might be of interest:
ivritex@taunivm % dedicated to bidirectional text processing

ftp-sites with large collections of TeX material:
ymir.clarmeont.edu % dante-server at stuttgart/germany

Yours sincerly,
J"org Knappen