Re: ISRI SoEuro has just been created!!

From: William Overington (
Date: Fri Sep 13 2002 - 11:20:00 EDT

Peter Constable wrote as follows, in response to my posting in this thread.

>>could produce
>>elegant graphics using the Paint program.

>It isn't very often that Paint is associated with elegant graphics. :-)

I like the Microsoft Paint program. It arrives bundled with the Windows
system on many PCs, so is widely accessible on minimum systems, along with
the Microsoft WordPad and Microsoft Calculator programs. Calculator is a
very powerful program once one sets it into scientific mode using View
Scientific. Also, some of the buttons can produce four different functions
when used in conjunction with the check boxes: for example, the cos button
can produce cos, arccos, cosh and arccosh. A very useful feature of
Calculator is to convert hexadecimal to decimal and vice versa, which I have
found very useful for making fonts with the Softy program, where I need to
add a decimal character code and where I am using Unicode code charts which
are in hexadecimal.

Certainly there are many more advanced graphic art packages than Paint
available, for a fee, yet its very widespread availability on PCs makes
Paint a very good package to use in learning materials published on the web.

I have written a number of articles about using Paint and published them on
the web.

There are articles about aligning text accurately and about using the curve
tool. There is also an article about using Paint with WordPad to produce
large letters.

I have found that using Paint in conjunction with WordPad and Calculator is
a quite powerful combination. In addition to the articles about using Paint
the web site also contains templates for various polygons and stars and also
contains various textures for making decorated letters.

Readers who like to learn by exploring might like to try the following.


Obtain the Anglo Saxon Capitals font Saxon.ttf from the font pack which can be downloaded from the following address.

The file needed for a PC is as follows. The link is the fourth item down in the abc Old English Typefaces section.

The zip file unzips to provide various fonts and documentation files.

Use Wordpad and Paint and two of the textures from our family webspace to produce a 200 point golden Anglo Saxon letter E on an ornate background constructed of Bézier curves using the methods explained in my articles.

Is that an elegant graphic?


As part of the font pack one also gets Beowulf-1 and Beowulf-1-Alt. Using WordPad to set text then using Print Screen to copy the image so that it can be pasted into Paint is a good technique to use so as to be able to produce nicely set text which uses both the characters of the Beowulf-1 font and the ligatures of the Beowulf-1-Alt font.

There's hours of learning fun in the above! The skills learned may also be useful at some later time when applied for more everyday end results.

> >>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.

>Do we have reliable info on how many older systems are in use around the >world, or are we just assuming?

Well, yes, I was just assuming! This was based on various factors. One was that I have seen an information technology room in a college where there were ten of the latest machines, ten machines bought a year previously, ten machines bought the year before and so on, so that there were about eighty PCs in all, ranging from the latest facilities to what were the latest facilities about seven years before. Also, I have seen television reports of how PCs, still working, are being replaced out of offices in large corporations by later machines and that the older machines are being checked over then sent to schools and colleges, including sending some to developing countries.

Yes, I was assuming, and I would like to find out figures. Does anyone know of figures please?

>>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?

>Using Unicode and industry-standard codepages. There is a single >Unicode-conformant font in each case.

I have, since receiving your reply, searched at with the following search.

Unicode codepage

The third item on the list was as follows

There I found various code page files and I downloaded some of them for study. Some of the names correspond to the font choices within Paint, as in Arial (Baltic) and some do not, as in Arial (Central European) and Arial (Western).

I have tried Alt 0248 through to Alt 0255 and it appears that Arial (Western) is Latin 1, Arial (Central European) is Latin 2 and that Arial (Turkish) is Latin 5. I have checked this with Alt 0202 through to Alt 0207, though I have not checked every character in the codepages.

>>So, I am wondering if the new code page could be added into some of those >>fonts

>I assure you, it's not going to happen. No company that needs to create >profit wants to enter the black hole of supporting every end-user-defined >codepage (which is what this is) that comes along. They're making big >investments to be free (as much as possible) of even their own codepages.

Well, one of the fonts which I mentioned is not produced by a company, so maybe that is a factor.

Also, not all companies are companies that need to create a profit, so maybe that is another factor.

I do however recognize the general thrust of your argument and thank you for your comment. Certainly, the original poster has mentioned Maltese and Esperanto, and they are hardly major languages, except in Malta and in Esperanto newsgroups and meetings, where they are major languages!

Now, the number of people who would like to set text in Maltese and Esperanto using older systems is unknown to me. There may well be more than that number of people who, while not using the facilities themselves, quite like for such facilities to be available for those people who would like to use them.

There is also the opportunity for learning. For example, at present I do not know how to proceed to use such a codepage as the original poster has suggested in designing a Unicode font, (another thread announces that he is modifying it, so practical implementation needs to wait for the modified design to be published) yet here is an opportunity to learn how to prepare a Unicode font so that, using Paint, a font name with (ISRI SoEuro) after the name could be selected. Is it a Unicode Consortium method? Is it a font format designer method which is not part of Unicode as such? Does it need OpenType fonts? Which font generation tools are needed?

Also, whilst I indeed recognize the very important part that companies play in the world, not everything in the world is done by companies! Certainly, there can be a lot of "not representing an organization" discrimination against anyone who tries to do something which is usually done by companies or which companies have not invented, yet, for example, companies do not vote in public elections, and many authors are not representing an organization when they write their works. So, although you may well be correct in your analysis of how those companies that need to create profit will react to the possibility of implementing this new codepage or any other new codepage, nevertheless that analysis only applies to companies that need to create profit and may not apply to people in other situations.

I like to think that there are aspects of using Unicode that are closer to an art gallery than to an industrial factory. Maybe the suggested codepage could be thought of as a work of art rather than as if competing in a mainstream industrial arena for interest by large companies.

I feel that there are lots of ways that Unicode can have artistic aspects: for example, could there be a design for wallpaper which uses Unicode characters as motifs? Could a painting have in it a map with accented characters used in a country painted in the area of a country: for example, a map of Europe with an a with a tilde in Portugal, and so on.

I notice that reference is made to "every end-user-defined codepage ... that comes along".

Hey, there's nothing wrong with being an end user of Unicode!

There's nothing wrong with an end user defining a codepage if he or she feels that he or she wants to do so!.

Is there a way of having a software tool available so that an end user may devise a codepage so that some part of a Unicode font can be accessed more easily on some PCs and have the software produce a modified font which can do the job? What would that take? I recognize that there will naturally be intellectual property rights restrictions as to which fonts such a software tool may be used upon, yet suppose that there were to be an all Unicode font available where there is a shareware style permission to use such a software tool to produce a font which has a custom codepage facility built into it. For people who have no chance to use the very latest equipment, that could potentially be a useful facility. In relation to art, businesses sell brushes for people to produce their own paintings, even if the paintings may only be of interest to the artist himself or herself, so why not have such software tools available for those people who need them? Is such a facility of adding an extra codepage a big problem to implement? Does anyone happen to know please if adding a facility to a font to have (ISRI SoEuro) available would mean that the font would come up in the text toolbar of the Paint program automatically because the ISRI SoEuro codepage is encoded in the font or does the Paint program itself need to have prior knowledge of the codepages that are to be used with it built into it when it was authored?

I have found Paint to be a very elegant program, often capable of far more than the documentation indicates, as in, for example, the way that the curve tool elegantly implements cubic Bézier curves, starting by having a cubic Bézier curve with two coincident control points and having capability to move the second control point to a different position. This feature appears to be mathematically precise.

Thank you for your response, I feel that I have learned a lot from it.

William Overington

13 September 2002

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