-- Ethiopic in Emacs --

1. Background

Mule is a multi-lingual enhancement of GNU Emacs. It can handle not only ASCII characters (7 bit) and ISO Latin-1 characters (8 bit), but also 16 bit characters like Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Furthermore Mule can have a mixture of languages in a single buffer. The latest version of Mule (version 2.2) supports Eritrean and Ethiopian languages. You can display, input, edit, save, etc. Ethiopic text (Fidel) in the powerful environment of Emacs.

2. Inputing and Editing Ethiopic

You can input Ge'ez characters from an ordinary ASCII keyboard. ASCII input and Ge'ez input toggles by hitting a special key (Meta-]). Ge'ez input is based on phonetic transcription. For example, typing "he" inserts Ge'ez character "(he)", all letters are typed as they sound.

Mule makes both the ASCII and Ethiopic punctuation available at the same time. Modes are given for both ASCII and Ethiopic digits and word delimiters (ie the space characters). You can easily change all of the blank spaces in Ethiopic text into Ethiopic word separators at any time -and back!

Mule also includes a novel editting feature that allows you to edit only the syllabic form of an Ethiopic character after its entry.

3. Ethiopic E-Mail and SERA in Mule

The System for Ethiopic Representation in ASCII has been applied in Mule for Latin file input/output and Internet transfer. The SERA Latin representation guarantees ease of interapplication and interplatform portability.

You can use Mule to send and receive Ethiopic E-mail and post at Usenet news groups. Mule will automatically convert Ge'ez characters into SERA Latin when it is sent out. So, you can now write Ethiopic E-mail with Emacs as easily as you do with English! Similarly, Mule will automatically convert incoming SERA mail into Ge'ez script. SERA's easy to read system allows Mule users and non users to communicate in their Eritrean or Ethiopian language in both the Fidel and alphabet without conflict or confusion.

Mule also uses its own internal coding system that converts into and out of SERA format.

4. PostScript Printing Ethiopic Text

Mule has a bundled utility called "m2ps". It converts text from Mule's internal representation to PostScript format. A high quality 300 dpi Ethiopic font from EthioSystems is available for your laser printing. Using this font with m2ps, you can get a beautiful hardcopy of your Ethiopic text with the click of the mouse.