[sword-devel] Re: Greek accents

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Wed Apr 27 03:50:32 MST 2005

On Wednesday 27 April 2005 01:05, Troy A. Griffitts wrote:
> Christian Computer Art wrote:
> > even Arial is no good at the more complex combinations of breathings and
> > accents, which are quite common in accented NTs. Modern Greek doesn't

Maybe that means that the text is decomposed? The results may be bad with any 
font, as was shown.

Some links for more about fonts:
http://faculty.bbc.edu/rdecker/unicode.htm (includes a good page about 
different fonts, though it's a bit outdated)
http://www.scholarsfonts.net/ (Cardo font)

And very good pages about Greek and unicode:

Here a scholar argues against precomposed characters, though his main point 
seems to be that "this is how it should have been done". Now it's done 
differently and we have more points to consider. Very good reading anyways, I 
found more bugs in FreeFont when reading this :)

> > You need to persuade people to get a 'scholarly' unicode font. I
> > recommend the free Cardo font

This may be good, but I still have bad feelings about freeware. I would prefer 
FOSS, also with fonts, if possible. If Sword developers licence the library 
under GPL to make Bible software Free, why should they promote non-free fonts 
which people use to read the Bible text? If e.g. the Linux based Christian 
distro is made, it is important to not force the users to download extra 
fonts from internet just because they are not freely redistributable. The 
distro could be especially useful for those who do not have a net connection. 
And many FOSS developers would oppose distributing non-free fonts even if 
they were redistributable, I think.

Therefore I consider it important to make Free fonts better rather than just 
pick up a good looking alternative.

> > Change the style sheet to read: 
> > font-family: Cardo,"Trebuchet MS", verdana, lucida, arial, helvetica,
> > sans-serif; 

If we speak about Crosswire's bible study pages, I think that the font-family 
for Greek texts should be thought out carefully. There's no reason to push 
users to change their general browser font to a unicode one. People may 
prefer non-unicode fonts for general web reading. Bible text could be in div 
or span element where font-family is something proper, and user don't have to 
change the browser settings. I think this is quite much how it is now, but the 
font-family is not good. In the page 
http://www.tlg.uci.edu/help/UnicodeTest.html there are many 
good fonts, maybe it could be evaluated and the font-family changed 
accordingly. "Cardo,"Trebuchet MS", verdana, lucida, arial, helvetica..." is 
really not enough. It's better to have a large collection of unicode fonts, 
and the possibility of the user having one of them is greater.

I now found out how to change the CSS. Here is an example:
#content-main {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
padding: 15px 15px 20px 15px;
font-family: FreeSerif, "Trebuchet MS", verdana, lucida, arial, helvetica, 
Using Firefox and Web Developer extension it's very easy to test CSS because 
you can edit it on the fly and see the changes automatically.

Again I took some screenshots, using Firefox (and Konqueror).

The default font size is far too small for me. The second picture shows how it 
looks when made larger. However, the quality of how the font looks is 
amazing, no matter how small it is. Sans looks also good, but here we can see 
some bugs in the font.

There is one drawback, however. I use antialiasing. The 4th picture shows how 
it looks like without AA. (Background is wrong because the files are local.) 
It makes a huge difference.  Microsoft fonts have traditionally been the best 
if AA is not used, I don't know if some commercial or freeware fonts can 
match them. With CRT monitor I naturally use AA, but modern TFTs are 
different. AA may look bad with them and subpixel hinting may be used. I 
don't know how that affects to FreeFonts or other not so well hinted fonts.

Maybe there just isn't only one font for all purposes.

Eeli Kaikkonen

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