[19-08-96] : A correction is now made to the installation proceedures.


JIS encoding for Fidel is implemented experimentally in the unassigned Kuten rows,cols of [91,1] - [94,94]. The character ordering follows the Unicode/ISO-10646-UTF2 standard (being voted on in April!); the addresses are then superimposed onto the available JIS region at the end of the domain.

Why Use JIS For Ethiopic?

JIS is the Japanese Industrial Standard for using the Japanese writing systems on computer. JIS is not THE solution for using Fidel on computers, Unicode is. However, Unicode won't change the computer world over night. So until then, JIS isn't a bad solution. JIS encoding is widely available and is fully capable of supporting Fidel, many popular software applications, on all comuter types, have a JIS version or option. Finally, JIS being a multibyte system, it allows us to work with the Unicode system until Unicode is avaliable in our favorite software. Having an avenue to use Unicode now gives us a way to work out some issues awaiting us when Unicode arrives.

What about SERA? The ideal, ideal, solution of course is a system for Ge'ez that everyone can read, from any computer, with any software. This is still SERA until Unicode lives on every computer everywhere. [Web browsing with Mule SERA documents will automatically convert into Fidel; a current project is aimed at doing the same for Java capable browsers.] If you can not run Netscape or L10N Mosaic in the X11 windows system, then you will be reading absolute garbage when you see a JIS file. If you provide JIS Fidel files on web, it is recommended that you also provide a SERA version. You will need to compose a SERA first before converting it into JIS. Later, when Unicode web browsers are available, your original SERA file will again be needed for conversion into Unicode.

To Set Up Netscape 2.0+ For Fidel on X11

  1. Download the webfonts tar from ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/fidel/fonts/ and follow the installation instructions in the README file.

  2. Add to your .Xresources or .Xdefaults the line:

    netscape*menuBar*jaAuto.labelString: Ethiopic (UNI-JIS)

    ...or some description that makes you happy :-)

  3. Restart your X server (I forget how to do this) or exit X and restart (could mean logout and log back in).

  4. Start Netscape

  5. Under the ``Options'' menu select ``Language Encoding'' and then choose the 3rd item which should say ``Ethiopian (UNI-JIS)''. [It will still say ``Japanese (Auto-Select)'' if you did not restart X.] Click here to see how the result should appear.

  6. Select ``Options'' one more time and choose ``General Preferences...'' When you have the folders menu select ``Fonts''.

  7. From ``Use the Proportional Font'' select ``Fidel (Admas)'' and Size: ``12''.
    For ``Use the Fixed Font'' select ``Fidel (Admas)'' and Size: ``11''.

  8. Select ``Options'' one more time and now choose ``Save_Options''.

  9. Open the provided file ``fidel.html''. You should find 411 characters in an extended Unicode matrix. Also see ``fontsizes.html''.

  10. Write me please to report any successes or failures.

Conversion Utilities

JIS Encoded Text Samples

A growing directory is here.

Concerning Fonts

Not all of the fonts have all of the fidels. Most are within 18 characters of completing the Unicode domain. Updating the fonts, plus new work on entirely new classes of fonts is now underway.

Bugs With Netscape JIS

In version 2.0b3 Netscape seems to ignore Latin space characters in Ge'ez text blocks. Accordingly, the sera2any converter will provide the Ethiopic white space when in output files. The cost to Ethiopic documents is an extra byte for each space character encountered. Hopefully, Netscape fixes this deficiency later.

The difference in Latin and Ethiopic font heights is a small problem with a variable impact dependent on the Latin fonts installed on your system. Later Fidel fonts may be tailor designed to better match Netscape preferences as more is understood about the issue.

To Set Up Mosaic-L10N For Fidel on X11

A single font for Ethiopic was applied in Mosaic-L10N during early 1995. Since Fidel has been applied in the more widely available Netscape, we have not had the access to try the new methods in Mosaic-L10N. If someone can experiment with the new fonts underl Mosaic-L10N and report back the results, we will add the proceedures here. Below is a hypothetical proceedure based on what worked last year.
  1. Download Mosaic-L10N (see ``Distribution Guide'') if not installed.

  2. Download the webfonts tar from ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/fidel/fonts/.

  3. You *may* be able to use these fonts as is. If not, you may modify the JIS fonts, jiskan16.bdf and jiskan24.bdf that come with X11.

  4. A ``trigger'' seems to be required to get the JIS mode started, view this page first to serve as a trigger.

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