Re: Exciting new software release!

From: William Overington (
Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 05:03:23 EST

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    It certainly is exciting!

    I learn a lot from your fun Doug. I remember when we had The Respectfully
    Experiment and I asked you how you managed to get the U+E707 character into
    your message and you mentioned the SC UniPad program from the webspace. That program is very useful for various
    purposes, I have used it in relation to preparing text with colour codes for
    research about broadcasting and indeed I have been using it to analyze the
    output from using your MathText program.

    Some information about the colour code experiments, and a link to a font
    with which one can experiment, are in the following web page.

    I used a file, produced using Notepad, named mathin.txt with the following

    This is a test.

    I processed this file through MathText using the Fraktur style using
    mathout.txt as the output file.

    I then used File | Open in SC UniPad to open the file mathout.txt as a UTF-8
    file. There was the display in Fraktur letters. Wow!

    So, I then did an Edit | Select All on the Fraktur text, followed by an Edit
    | Convert | Unicode to UCN. This gave a stream of ordinary text in \u and
    \U format, each \u sequence having four hexadecimal characters after the \u
    and each \U sequence having eight hexadecimal characters after the \U. Wow
    again! I did not realize that SC UniPad would do such a conversion!

    These tests were carried out on a PC running Windows 98.

    I am now wondering whether I can convert the text into surrogate pairs so
    that I can both read the \u sequences for the surrogate pairs in SC UniPad
    and so that I can copy the surrogate characters themselves onto the
    clipboard for pasting into the text box of a Java applet.

    Have you considered the possibility of a similar program to encode a string
    of ASCII characters as plane 14 tags please, with an option checkbox to
    include the U+E0001 character at the start and an option checkbox to include
    a U+E007F character? That would be a very useful program which could be
    used in conjunction with SC UniPad to marshall plain text which uses
    language tags. Such a program would be a very useful tool to have available
    for access level content production for use for producing content for free
    to the end user distance education for broadcasting around the world upon
    the DVB-MHP platform for interactive television.

    Recently I was thinking about the possibility of defining a few Private Use
    Area characters in one or both of planes 15 and 16. This being so as to try
    to gain experience of applying those Private Use Areas "up in the mountains"
    for use if and when such use becomes desirable. I am thinking of the long
    term possibility of a music font being defined there as one possible
    application. However, for the moment, something more general, such as a few
    symbols for vegetables, just to gain experience of what is involved. For
    example, how would one produce a display (not necessarily a web page
    display) of the text of the following song together with a few graphics of
    vegetables if the whole document were encoded as plain text with the
    illustrations of the vegetables encoded as Private Use Area characters from
    plane 15 or plane 16?

    As a direct consequence of using SC UniPad with characters from beyond plane
    0 as a result of your posting I have found that the CTRL Q facility of SC
    UniPad may be used to enter five and six character hexadecimal sequences
    which are within the Unicode code space and that such characters may then be
    converted to the \U and eight hexadecimal characters format.

    Looking at the U1D400.pdf document for which you provided a link in your
    document about the program and considering the MathText dialogue box, I am
    wondering whether one can set out on with an ASCII file produced with
    Notepad and use MathText to reach the various mathematical Greek characters
    shown in the U1D400.pdf document. Is that possible at present? I tried
    with an Alt 130 and an Alt 225 in the .txt file following A and B and before
    C and D and requested Bold of MathText just to see what happened, but only
    the A and B came out.

    Thank you for posting details of an interesting program which is a catalyst
    for interest in applying the higher planes of Unicode.

    William Overington

    3 April 2003

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