[19-08-96] : A correction is now made to the installation proceedures.
F10N JIS TEST PAGE
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
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
To Set Up Netscape 2.0+ For Fidel on X11
- Download the webfonts tar from
ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/fidel/fonts/ and follow the installation
instructions in the README file.
- Add to your .Xresources or .Xdefaults the line:
netscape*menuBar*jaAuto.labelString: Ethiopic (UNI-JIS)
...or some description that makes you happy :-)
- Restart your X server (I forget how to do this) or exit X and
restart (could mean logout and log back in).
- Start Netscape
- 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.
- Select ``Options'' one more time and choose ``General Preferences...''
When you have the folders menu select ``Fonts''.
- From ``Use the Proportional Font'' select ``Fidel (Admas)'' and Size: ``12''.
For ``Use the Fixed Font'' select ``Fidel (Admas)'' and Size: ``11''.
- Select ``Options'' one more time and now choose ``Save_Options''.
- Open the provided file ``fidel.html''. You should find 411 characters in
an extended Unicode matrix. Also see ``fontsizes.html''.
- Write me please to report any successes or failures.
To convert SERA=>JIS download the sera2any package.
To compose files on-line visit the
and choose the ``JIS'' return option. Save your returned file from your
JIS Encoded Text Samples
A growing directory is here.
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.
- Download Mosaic-L10N
(see ``Distribution Guide'') if not installed.
- Download the webfonts tar from
- 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.
delete first 26 lines of fidel16.bdf and the last line!
%cat jiskan16.bdf fidel16.bdf > jiskan.bdf
on line 30 of jiskan.bdf: CHARS 6877 ==> CHARS 7288
now compile font, repeat for jiskan24.bdf.
- 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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