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Re: lynx-dev Display of SGML Greek Math entities -- solution

From: Henry Nelson
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Display of SGML Greek Math entities -- solution
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 13:27:28 +0900 (JST)

> technical issue that I hadn't considered, because I was only
> thinking of 8-bit displays.  There is more work to be done yet on

You asked in another post about the meaning of certain tables.  If you
haven't already, I recommend that you read docs/README.chartrans and
the README.* files in src/chrtrans/.  Most of the tables in the chrtrans/
have useful commentary.  Also, Klaus left many insightful comments in the
source code.

> On terminals that can display Greek glyphs, the SGML Greek
> Mathematical symbols should be rendered using those glyphs.  On
> terminals that cannot display Greek glyphs, these entities must be
> displayed distinctly from other characters.
> Otherwise, information is lost.  This is not a matter of personal
> preference, it is a matter of the purpose of the SGML Greek

Well, yes.  (Although the hair on the back of my neck raises with "must
be." :)  What I was referring to as a "personal preference" was your
desire to spell out the entire name of the letter rather than consider
some symbolic (perhaps two-character, perhaps three) representation of
"Greek glyphs."  Using the name makes a width difference of 5 character
cells (xi or pi versus omicron or upsilon -- even a greater difference
if you want to include thetasym).  While this may not bother you, it may
someone else.

> There is one 8-bit character set that does include the Greek

Even my 1988 NEC PC9801VX will push out _some_ Greek from the original
ROM.  Isn't ascii 0xE0 a lower case alpha, or have I completely forgotten?
The summation thingamajig (capital Sigma) was something like 0xE4?

> Until I get some terminals going that use these non-8-bit

While it may seem as though I missed your point, I suspect likewise
you missed mine.  Namely, in this day and age, a computer running an
OS that _can't_ display Greek letters and a variety of other symbols
is almost unheard of.  That same vintage NEC PC9801VX now runs NetBSD
1.4.3_ALPHA, which supports a dozen or more locales.  I'm sure a current
distribution (not available for the i386/pc98 platform) would support two
or three times that number.

> I mis-stated this.  Try this:
> "Currently, in character sets that don't contain the Greek alphabetic
> characters, lynx transliterates Greek mathematical characters into 
                /may\           =
> their Latin equivalents, rendering them indistinct from Latin 
> characters in formulas, and often incomprehensible.  This amounts to 
> a loss of information, and is broken behavior."

I still differ with you.  Lynx's behavior is not broken by the simple
fact that anyone, as you yourself have done, may edit the translation
tables to their satisfaction and re-compile.  In other words, if someone
doesn't like what Lynx falls back to, they're free to change that.  My
real point is, though, that there shouldn't be a need for anyone to fall
back to some half-baked default.

> You aren't even looking at the problem in question.

I'm sure that's true because I don't even see a problem (that can't be
easily fixed).

> Your example doesn't contain any SGML Greek Mathematical symbols
> such as "Α" but rather, explicit numerical references such
> as "&945;" to characters in you document's character set.

You want "Α" and "Α" to NOT represent the same thing, namely
the capital letter Alpha?  Likewise, either "α" or "α" to
NOT represent the same lower case alpha?  Why?  They're synonymous.
I revised my Greek letter page to illustrate.  (BTW, the page was not
intended for this thread.  It normally resides, without the Lynx
screenshots, on my lab server for student reference only.  I'll take it
down in a couple of days.)

> My patch wouldn't affect this document at all.  My patch ONLY
> re-directs SGML Greek Mathematical symbols.

I confess I haven't read the patch.  I don't know what your patch
"re-directs SGML Greek Mathematical symbols" to, but I hope you aren't
expecting Lynx users to go along with mapping to some fictitious range.

But really if there is anyone on this list who CANNOT produce Greek
characters on their display, don't put up with it!  Get the fonts!  It
has nothing to do with Lynx.


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