[sword-devel] To cantillate or not to cantillate

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 21 Jun 2001 14:02:13 -0700

> We had a discussion about this a while back on the Logos beta 
> newsgroup (lbs.titus), and Bob insisted that the 'right way' 
> (TM) was to use Unicode.  What it means is that the Greek and 
> Hebrew texts are unusable
> (IMO) until a complete font is available.

I wasn't suggesting and wouldn't accept any suggestion to use anything
other than Unicode at this point.  Unicode is sufficient for this text.
Unicode fonts, for the most part, are not.  (You'd have to ask someone
who knows Hebrew whether Unicode is really sufficient in general, but it
appears to handle all the marks in this text source's encoding.)
> I think that if we have a text that looks right now, we 
> should maintain it in its existing form until suitable 
> technology is available to convert it to a more portable 
> mechanism.  In the meantime, the non-portable, smaller, 
> correctly-marked text is preferable.  (Of course, if it's a 
> new text which hasn't been released in either form, then 
> people can probably live with a less-than-ideal display until 
> the fonts are available.)

We're going to use a new text source because the old one was just not as
good.  It used a non-standard encoding (BSTHebrew I believe).  The only
reason it was "correctly marked" was because it had no marks at
all--vowel points, cantillation marks, or punctuation.  On top of that,
it was under copyright whereas the current one is specifically marked by
its preparers as public domain.  The only "problem" with the new source
is that it has too many features for the current stock of fonts. :)

I'm somewhat leaning toward doing a cantillation mark-free version for
1.5.2 and the new set of CDs and a version with the marks for 1.5.3+.  I
might start making experimental/beta modules prefaced with an 'x' (e.g.
xBHS) for testers and development so that they don't conflict with the
release versions but can still be distributed via the standard channels.
BTW, how's 1.5.3 coming Troy?