[sword-devel] To cantillate or not to cantillate

Paul Gear sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 22 Jun 2001 21:08:49 +1000

Chris Little wrote:

> > 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.

Sorry if i took your suggestion wrongly.  My point was merely to explain
how other Bible software has made a bad move that we could avoid.  If the
fonts are not sufficient, and you put the characters in the text, you end
up with a mess.  So i guess my answer to your subject line is, if the fonts
are not up to it, don't put the characters in the text, or don't use
Unicode.  If the latter is not acceptable, fine.

> (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'm learning Hebrew at college this year, and from what i've seen so far
(i'm halfway through), you don't really need the accents to understand it.
They just help with reading the text aloud in terms of pronunciation and

> > 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.

Anything is an improvement from that, then.  :-)