Re: ISRI SoEuro has just been created!!

From: William Overington (
Date: Thu Sep 12 2002 - 05:00:05 EDT

One practical use of this code page which occurs to me is as follows.

Suppose that on a Windows 95 PC, (I am preparing this email on a Windows 95
PC), suppose that someone wishes to produce a graphic which includes the
words of an Esperanto poem or song, the graphic being prepared using the
Paint program.

If a font with the layout which is being suggested is used, then the text
can be set within the Paint program. It appears that, with a suitable font,
sequences of holding down the Alt key then keying 0 from the numeric keypad
at the right of the keyboard, followed by a number from 128 to 255 keyed
from the numeric keypad at the right of the keyboard then releasing the Alt
key would permit the keying of the characters of the new 8-bit set.

On a Windows 98 platform the text can be set in WordPad using a Unicode font
using Alt sequences (for example Alt 264 for C circumflex, Alt 265 for c
circumflex) and then the graphic image copied onto the clipboard using Print
Screen then pasted into Paint, yet for WordPad on at least this Windows 95
machine that will not work.

Certainly, on a Windows 95 machine if someone has Word 97 installed, then
Word 97 can be used to set the Esperanto text before using a Print Screen
operation, though Word 97 is a premium package not available to people using
minimum systems and possibly not available to people using an open access PC
in a public library.

So, as far as Esperanto goes, this code page offers the chance, if someone
will make available a font using those codings, that people using a minimum
Windows 95 system, perhaps in a public library setting, could produce
elegant graphics using the Paint program.

It would appear, on the face of it, that this new code page suggestion makes
that facility available not only for Esperanto but also for a number of
other languages.

I hope that a suitable font becomes published on the web using this set of
code points so that people who are using Windows 95 systems can have this
additional facility available to them. I know, for example, that there is a
font available for Tamil which uses the 8-bit code space. I feel that
having such facilities available does not detract from Unicode, I feel that
they tend to get people interested in producing end results and that in the
long term that that may well get them interested in Unicode. Or indeed, end
users of such facilities may well have good knowledge of what is needed to
use Unicode and might like to use Unicode but have to make the best of only
having less than the very latest equipment available.

I also know that there are various fonts available, such as some Fraktur
fonts, which use the 8 bit codes from 128 to 255 for ligatures. Those fonts
too are not using Unicode code point assignments, yet hopefully, as time
goes on, those fonts will become updated so as to use Unicode code points,
though that would appear to only be possible on operating system and
software combinations which will recognize and act upon sequences using the
U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER character so as to produce the ligatures, unless
Private Use Area encodings for the ligatures are used.

Unicode is very important, yet I feel that it is also very important that
facilities are provided for people using the many older machines which are
still in use around the world. This new code page may well help in the
process of solving computing problems now. Those same problems can also be
solved now using more modern equipment with later facilities, for those
people that have access to those facilities. As time passes, maybe the
Unicode solution will become universally the useful solution, yet for the
present, the new code page may well have usefulness for some end users of
computing equipment.

While writing, can I please ask as to what characters A9 and B9 are meant to
represent as they come out as black squares here?

In using the Microsoft Paint program using the text tool I have found that
some fonts such as Arial, Code2000 and Times New Roman offer various
versions of the font with names such as Baltic within parentheses after the
name of the font, which can be used using Alt ddd sequences and Alt 0ddd
sequences, where ddd is a base 10 integer less than or equal to 255, to
produce various sets of characters. How please does this mechanism work? I
have tried various values of ddd with various of the language groups and
found a wide range of characters, yet so far I have not found any way of
getting Esperanto accented characters into Paint on a Windows 95 machine
using that technique. Is it possible to do so? Are there any charts of
these code point allocations available please?

So, I am wondering if the new code page could be added into some of those
fonts in some way as that would then make Esperanto poems and songs settable
using Microsoft WordPad and Microsoft Paint on Windows 95 machines? Would
that produce additional facilities for end users of Windows 95 machines?

William Overington

12 September 2002

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