RE: Unicode, ancient greek, etc...

From: Lori Brownell (
Date: Thu Dec 17 1998 - 17:41:16 EST

I have included some information which will hopefully be helpful to you
intermixed in your questions below. See ### for my comments.

Best Wishes -
Lori Brownell (
Group Program Manager
Windows Operating Systems Internationl and Fonts
Microsoft Corp.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []

> We are a group of french professors working on a small hypertext project
> including texts in ancient greek, english and french that should be
> marketed on CD-ROM. We have future projects that involve other languages
> (russian, etc.) ans so we wonder if Unicode would not be an appropriate
> solution.
> Our hypertext tool is intended for PC running under Windows 95 (and
> Windows
> 98) and based on Media View Library, a Microsoft software that has not
> been
> designed for Unicode support. But we would like to to adapt it
> accordingly.

####I am not all that familiar with Media View, but I do not believe that
it is enabled to support Unicode at this time, which would likely be
required if you are trying to combine French, English and Ancient Greek.

> I am responsible for collecting informations about fonts and compatibility
> problems. Unfortunately I am quite ignorant about fonts. Could you please
> help me by answering to some questions?
> 1) Is there any Unicode font that would include ancient greek
> characters
> (with diacritics signs) and that we could include on our CD-ROM?

####Microsoft has a font and keyboard available that supports all 3 of these
languages on Windows NT 4.0 via the Greek subsidiary. If you can't find it
on the web site, you can contact for assistance.
This does not work on Windows 95 or Windows 98 because neither of these
systems support Unicode input, which is required for entering Ancient Greek.
You can not legally redistribute any of the Microsoft fonts, but you can
any Windows NT 4.0 registered licensee to this patch.

> 2) Which solutions do exist for changing languages in Unicode? In
> particular, which solutions would be compatible (or could be made
> compatible) with our tool. We need to allow the user to type ancient
> greek/english/french (and so on) both for the search function and the
> annotation function (mainly for the search). Ideally the user would have
> the possibility to type several languages in the same box (search or
> annotation), but we could also consider to type only one language at one
> time in the search and annotation boxes. This depends on the compatibility
> with our tool.

####To do what you are asking, you need to use a pure Unicode environment,
including an Operating System that supports Unicode input and display,
Windows NT, not Windows 9x. You will also need to use Unicode edit fields
and a Unicode store to query against. Without more information of your
and exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish, I can't really
any more advice. You may want to have your developers watch the globaldev
site on as we are working on it now to provide more
information on creating Unicode apps and solutions.

> 3) How does the keyboard mapping work with Unicode? (do the character
> codes correspond to the keyboard keys - does this involve a programmation
> work?) How can the user switch the keyboard?

####This has nothing to do with Unicode, it is dependent on the Operating
System that you are using. In Windows, the keyboard mapping is to either
Unicode (Windows NT) or to ANSI (Windows 9x). These mapping files are
built into binary data files that the OS uses to translate from scan codes
character codes. Switching the input language/kbd in Windows is done
by setting up mulitple input locales in the Regional Options applet, then
a hot key can be used to switch between those that you have set up.
The Windows NT 4.0 Polytonic Greek patch that I mentioned before will
allow a Polytonic Greek kbd to be selected into this option list.

> 4) In case there was no Unicode font available that includes ancient
> greek
> (or if the cost of it was prohibitive for our small budget), would it be
> possible to use a font that is not intended for Unicode and to adapt it
> according to Unicode (some kind of conversion). Then how could this be
> done?
> Sorry if these questions seem naive to you, but my knowledge about that
> question is very limited.
> I thank you for reading this message until the end and I hope I do not
> take too much of your time.
> Sincerely,

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:43 EDT