[sword-devel] To cantillate or not to cantillate

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 20 Jun 2001 20:21:22 -0700

The shortcomings of Unicode support for Hebrew have been mentioned
before, and most of them relate to its support for cantillation marks.
Font support for those marks that have Unicode codepoints is very poor.
Code2000, Cyberbit, and Arial Unicode MS are the only 3 fonts I have
found that support them.  The greatest problem in Windows is that
Windows will automatically select another font that includes support for
a character set when the current font does not support the set.  But
Times New Roman, Miriam, David, and many other fonts include support for
the consonants and vowel points, so they claim to support Hebrew despite
not supporting its entirety.  But they render blocks instead of
cantillation marks.

In the future I plan to add render filters to toggle cantillation
points, vowel points, and accents in Hebrew and Greek.  But we have a
release coming up now, so I'd like to know what others think we should

Do we release a text that does not include cantillation marks despite
being able to include them now simply because they will not render
correctly by default and we haven't yet built a mechanism for turning
them off?  Or do we include the marks and set the font to "TITUS
Cyberbit Basic"?

Examples of each are at the following:
Font "Times New Roman" - http://www.crosswire.org/~chrislit/tnr.jpg
Font "Code2000" - http://www.crosswire.org/~chrislit/c2k.jpg