Re: encoding polytonic Greek

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Wed Sep 15 1999 - 04:13:19 EDT

At 06:35 -0700 9/14/1999, Otto Stolz wrote:
>Am 1999-08-27 um 10:55 h hat geschrieben:
> > I might encode a capital alpha with psili as U+1F08. Since the psili
> > is often written to the left the capital alpha, though, this could
> > be encoded as U+1FBF U+0391. Both alternatives are possible for any
> > of the vowel/accent/breathing combinations.
>Am 1999-08-27 um 11:08 h hat Rick McGowan geschrieben:
> > The clearest way to encode polytonic Greek text is to avoid using
> > all the extended precomposed stuff. Use fully decomposed sequences
> > [i. e. U+0391 U+0313].
>Am 1999-08-27 um 13:46 h hat Jeroen Hellingman geschrieben:
> > However, some existing tools may only allow you to use the precomposed
> > stuff because they cannot position accents properly.
>So the question arises which tool will support which representation.
>In practice, this boils down to the question: Which representation is
>mandated by the tools available to me, and to my clients.
>One application area I have in mind is publishing in the WWW:
>- What can I recommend to a WWW author planning to publish pages
> with substantial quotes in ancient Greek, embedded in German,
> or English, text?

GIFs, with an option for UTF-8 that gives fair warning of the
requirements for reading it (download {or buy} and install fonts,
check version and replace or reconfigure the browser). Another option
that may be worth adding is PDFs, which are made with embedded
portions of fonts. All of these strategies are being used on various
Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, science, and math sites. I don't recall
seeing any bilingual Greek/whatever pages.

>- What will the WWW author have to recommend to his readers?
>Off course, the way to go is HTML 4.0 and UTF-8; but how will the
>accented characters have to be represented so the major browsers can
>adeqately render the text, which non-standard fonts will the reader need
>to install, and where in the web can they be obtained?

The Perseus site (at for Classical
Greek literature offers free 8-bit fonts for both PC and Mac
containing all of the accented forms needed for reading their online
editions of the top 40 authors from Homer to Aristotle. I have used
both fonts to read their online Euclid.

>The other application area I have in mind is preparing memos, theses,
>perhaps books, with standard text-processing tools, again containing
>substantial quotes in ancient Greek, embedded in German, Italian, or
>English text. Does, e. g. Word 97, or Word 2000, support polytonic Greek,
>and how? Where can I find the keyboard driver for ancient Greek Lori B
>has mentioned, back in 1998, and, of course, suitable fonts?

I can't help with keyboards. What I would like to see is an
open-source keyboard design program that could generate Windows, Mac,
and X keyboard modules, and better still a way to create CJKV IMEs.

>Thanks in advance for any hints.
>Best wishes,
> Otto Stolz

I hope this helps.

Ed Cherlin  <>
When the Sage rules, the people say, "We did it

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