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stuartro@gmail.com
11-24-2008, 08:21 AM
I use both Bibleworks and Logos, having been a Bibleworks user since v4 and the two together serve me very well. And I do all of my studies using Unicode and Microsoft Word.

Bibleworks ability to export text using Unicode has worked well, but simply selecting some Hebrew or Greek text and hitting Ctrl+C pastes ASCII characters to the clipboard and not Unicode text.

Also, I find the latest SBL Hebrew and Galatia fonts exceptionally clear and well hinted - almost beautiful - and this makes reading on-screen (using Logos very pleasant).

I see from the latest features that BW 8 has increased Unicode support, hence the two questions below:



Will selecting text and pressing Ctrl+C put ASCII or Unicode text onto the clipboard?
Can SBL Hebrew and Galatia (or other Unicode Hebrew & Greek fonts) be used to display text in the results window, etc?


If not, what is the chance that Bibleworks 8 might provide these 2 features?

Sincerely,
Stuart.

Mark Eddy
11-24-2008, 09:11 AM
1. Will selecting text and pressing Ctrl+C put ASCII or Unicode text onto the clipboard?
Yes or yes. In BW 8 you have options to send Unicode or non Unicode fonts to the clipboard or to the BibleWorks editor. There were some bugs in this in beta testing, and which operating system you have may make a difference. But BW is determined to get Unicode to work in all exporting


2. Can SBL Hebrew and Galatia (or other Unicode Hebrew & Greek fonts) be used to display text in the results window, etc?

If not, what is the chance that Bibleworks 8 might provide these 2 features?
SBL Hebrew is the default export font, and it can be used for your notes and editor, but searching is still done in done based on the non-Unicode BibleWorks fonts, so Unicode is not used in what used to be called the "Results" window, but is now (beginning in BW7) called the "Browse" window.
By the way, SBL Galatia has caused problems for me with Windows XP, so I use Times New Roman Greek or Uncial as my Greek Unicode export font.
Mark Eddy

stuartro@gmail.com
11-24-2008, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the quick reply.

Do you know whether Unicode fonts are planned to be supported in the browse window either in the near future or on a future release of BW8?

Michael Hanel
11-24-2008, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the quick reply.

Do you know whether Unicode fonts are planned to be supported in the browse window either in the near future or on a future release of BW8?

Unforunately, I don't think we're quite there yet. I am not a programmer, so I can not speak about this with complete accuracy, but I copied here the reason I stated earlier why Unicode in the Browse Window is not yet possible:

"the fact is that the way Windows handles Unicode has not yet reached a stable point so that it's possible to do that. The way BibleWorks handles lightning quick searching among other things has to do with how the databases function in Windows and if Windows hasn't yet decided how it's going to deal with Unicode, if BibleWorks functioned internally using only Unicode, the program would not work if Microsoft changed the way it works. So BW has a choice, it can take its chances and make everything Unicode, but then risk their program breaking if Microsoft makes more changes. OR it could use Unicode and completely change the way databases are searched. If they do this maybe they're not able to do lightning quick searches anymore. If they lose this, I think a lot MORE people would complain. OR, they keep using their fonts, but make Unicode exporting as efficient as possible. And this is what they've done. Now some people may disagree with this choice or wish that it were something different, but as far as I've heard from the programmers, the reason why they can't go all Unicode has little to do with their programming ability, but a lot to do with the Microsoft structure."

I could be wrong on this but I don't believe Accordance uses Unicode internally either for much a similar reason. Logos can use Unicode because its program is based around marked up text documents. But the downside then is that it's searching capability is nowhere near as fast as Accordance or BibleWorks. Again, I'm not saying I have the reasoning 100% right, but it seems that the reason is not that BibleWorks can't program it in Unicode, but that the surrounding Windows environment is not yet stable on this point.

MBushell
11-24-2008, 12:23 PM
I am not sure why it matters whether Unicode is supported in the Browse Window or not. Why does anyone care about that? All they care about is the ability to export texts in the format that they need. Right? Greek and Hebrew are exported in Unicode by default in version 8 and it stays that way unless you change some configuration settings. And it seems to work well. Unless I told you that the internal Greek and Hebrew fonts were non-Hebrew, you really wouldn't have any way of knowing. In other word the program functions the same whether we use Unicode internally of not. Maybe I am wrong, but that is the way I have been looking at it.

We have tried to maintain support for both Unicode and non-Unicode Greek and Hebrew simply because some users don't want to use Unicode - because Biblical Greek and Hebrew are still not fully supported in Windows. Even Vista does not ship with usable Greek and Hebrew fonts for use with the Biblical languages. We ship both SBL and SIL Hebrew fonts which work great, but do not have a decent Unicode Greek font that we have a license to ship (SBL is supposed to do one some day). Under Vista BW8 defaults to Times New Roman for Greek Unicode, which looks decent, but there is no decent alternative in XP. The sad fact is that if someone wants to share Hebrew and Greek documents with others, they still have to ship the fonts with the documents or insure that they have the same fonts installed. We have given permission for users to pass around our fonts (non-Unicode) but they cannot legally do that with the SBL font, even though it can be downloaded for free by individuals.

The real question in all this is what we can do differently that will serve the needs of those who want to use Unicode Greek and Hebrew. We have tried to do everything we could along those lines in BW8. The only thing that hasn't been done is convert all the CHM files that have Greek and Hebrew to Unicode. We would really rather NOT do that until Windows ships with decent Greek and Hebrew font capability. Greek is there in Vista, but not Hebrew, as fas as I know anyway. In the mean time please let us know what else we can do.

spitzerpl
11-24-2008, 12:30 PM
In the mean time please let us know what else we can do.

My opinion on what you can do: Maintain the things that sold me on my purchase:

1) Keep it fast
2) Keep it inexpensive
3) Keep it valuable (good databases)
4) Make it look good in Bibleworks

As far as what goes on under the hood...I really don't care too much so long as the car runs well. Interoperability with other programs (which includes copy/paste functions) is just icing on the cake to me. And from all I can tell so far there's a lot of icing!

David Kummerow
11-24-2008, 05:10 PM
I see two benefits for moving to internal unicode support:

1. We could then select a non-default keyboard layout for use on the commandline.

2. Display of text in preferred font.

However, neither of these two things are important enough to me if speed of searches etc. decreases (a la Logos). As Mike points out, for general usage of the program it does not matter if BW supports unicode internally or not so long as anything exported is as the user wants, unicode or otherwise.

In any case, my first point could even be accomplished if BW chose to make available in the 'Keyboard Layouts' keyboard selections non-default keyboards already installed on the system. In my case, I use a slightly modified SIL Hebrew keyboard layout that I've gotten quite used to that I would like to select as the preferred method of entry on the commandline for Hebrew, but cannot do so as the option in the drop-down list is not there.

But like I've said, I do not want this if it makes the program slower.

Regards,
David Kummerow.

MBushell
11-24-2008, 05:28 PM
David,

In BW8 all Greek and Unicode in the program can be done in either Unicode or non-Unicode (except for CHM files). You can set the Uniocde fonts that you want for Greek and Hebrew. But the default is Unicode SBL Hebrew and Unicode Times New Roman for Hebrew and Greek under Vista.

The Browse Window may some day be able to display Unicode Greek and Hebrew, but it is not in there now and when we do it depends on how high a priority users put on it. Time spent on that takes away from time spent on other things . What's there now looks good (in my opinion) and works well. We need a pretty good reason to change it. The most important thing is Unicode export and that should be covered for Greek and Hebrew. We are still waiting for better Windows support.

Of course the new Chinese, Japanese, etc. versions are Unicode and they do display in the Browse Window. As we add new versions that require Unicode, we will use Unicode. Duh. That's obvious I guess.

Mike

David Kummerow
11-26-2008, 01:21 AM
Gday Mike,

Sounds fine reasoning to me.

Can't wait to see version 8. For me it's a question of guessing the exchange rate -- purchase now by myself, or early next year with my institution and group discount. (But then there's also the question of convincing my wife that I need the new version rather than want it ... could take til next year anyway!)

Regards,
David.

wie
11-30-2008, 05:46 AM
We ship both SBL and SIL Hebrew fonts which work great, but do not have a decent Unicode Greek font that we have a license to ship (SBL is supposed to do one some day).

This is really funny.
I thought, one of the main reasons to use Unicode it that you do not need a specialized font!
Since you still need specialized fonts, what's the advantage?
This Unicode thing creates more bad than good so far. Remember the websites in Unicode where you are told that it will display correctly only if you use this or that particular font?
Also, where is the tool to write fluently Greek in Unicode? Is there one in BW?

MGVH
11-30-2008, 11:59 PM
As for fonts, I still recommend the Cardo font to my students. It's free, and it has a very complete set of characters of Greek and Hebrew, so you only need to use it alone if you want. (It's also fairly attractive, but characters are a bit wide, and some of the strokes are a bit thin. Still, it is quite functional for both onscreen and in print.) I have seen the SBL Greek beta (preview here (http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2007/07/new-microsoft-fonts.html)), and it is quite nice. Once released, the plan is to also release a SBL Biblical which combines both the Greek and Hebrew.

As for typing polytonic Greek, I liked the Logos Greek keyboard (cf here (http://www.logos.com/support/downloads/keyboards)), but it turns out to not work well at all in Office2007, because it renders so many combined characters rather than pre-composed ones. The best solution I can find (and one that works correctly in the BW editor/notes) is to use Keyman from Tavultesoft (http://www.tavultesoft.com/keyman/) and one of the polytonic Greek keyboards. (Keyman costs $19 for the 2 keyboard version.)

Mike Aubrey
12-01-2008, 01:49 AM
This is really funny.
I thought, one of the main reasons to use Unicode it that you do not need a specialized font!
Since you still need specialized fonts, what's the advantage?
This Unicode thing creates more bad than good so far. Remember the websites in Unicode where you are told that it will display correctly only if you use this or that particular font?
Also, where is the tool to write fluently Greek in Unicode? Is there one in BW?

Wieland, the Unicode standard is so large that not all fonts carry every single symbol. So as long as you change your font to one that maintains that particular character, you're fine.

I've always wondered why unicode wasn't in the browse window, thanks for the explanation, Mike H.

But I don't understand the statement that you don't have a decent Greek unicode font. What's wrong with SIL's Gentium & GentiumAlt? As far as I know they support ancient Greek very well. Is there a reason that it can't ship in Bibleworks? Its under the same open font license that their Hebrew font is.

Mike Aubrey
http://evepheso.wordpress.com

Trajan
12-01-2008, 05:21 PM
I could be missing something, but the key non-Unicode function missing in BW7 is the ability to truly use it in the User Notes. You can select unicode Greek, for example, but all accent marks show up as the "?" character.

I have tried it with the "default" Arial Unicode MS (which looks horrible) and with a sophisticated font (Gentium).

If anyone knows of a way to make accents, I'd be interested to know.

MBushell
12-01-2008, 10:25 PM
This is really funny.
I thought, one of the main reasons to use Unicode it that you do not need a specialized font!
Since you still need specialized fonts, what's the advantage?
This Unicode thing creates more bad than good so far. Remember the websites in Unicode where you are told that it will display correctly only if you use this or that particular font?
Also, where is the tool to write fluently Greek in Unicode? Is there one in BW?

The problem is partly that there is more to the issue than Unicode. The SBL and SIL Hebrew fonts are not just sets of glyphs. There are little programs with each letter (they are Open Type) that position the vowels and accents. This means that all Unicode Hebrew fonts are not the same at all. Up to this point Microsoft has not invested the effort to produce decent Hebrew fonts - because it is a large job for what is to them a small audience. So we are in fact back to the good old days of having to share fonts or point people to the places where they can download them. What Unicode did do is standardize the wrapping of Hebrew, something that never worked in a really sharable way prior to Unicode. But the technology still has a long ways to go for Biblical Studies. BW ships with SBL Hebrew (it wasn't free - we had to pay to join as an SBL font sponsor) but users cannot share the SBL font with others (as far as I know). What they can do is point people to the SBL site where individual users can download them for free. So there is progress, but Windows is still not capable of Biblical Greek and Hebrew out of the box. But the technology to do it is free to individuals from third parties,

MortenJensen
12-03-2008, 07:24 AM
Stuart,
Where do you find the SBL Galatia font? On their web page, the new Greek font is listed as in progress. You can download their non-Unicode font - but is that not it?
Morten

kalogeros
10-04-2009, 04:30 AM
I am not sure why it matters whether Unicode is supported in the Browse Window or not. Why does anyone care about that? All they care about is the ability to export texts in the format that they need. Right? Greek and Hebrew are exported in Unicode by default in version 8 and it stays that way unless you change some configuration settings. And it seems to work well. Unless I told you that the internal Greek and Hebrew fonts were non-Hebrew, you really wouldn't have any way of knowing. In other word the program functions the same whether we use Unicode internally of not. Maybe I am wrong, but that is the way I have been looking at it.

Greetings from Greece.

Here at our monastery it would not matter to us if the the internal font is Unicode or not for Greek as long as the text can readily and easily be exported into a Unicode font, like the SBL, for use with the basic Microsoft Greek Polytonic layout. What we do find difficult, as I'm sure anyone who regularly types with a standard Greek keyboard would, is having to imput to the Bibleworks Greek font using the BibleWorks layout. I have not seen BW8 yet -- we are still plugging along with a v5 and a v6, and an occasional a v7 visiting in a laptop -- but it looks like it still doesn't have alternate keyboard layouts for the browser, or even the ability to map one out, for the BW Greek font. Being so accustomed to the standard Greek layout, we constantly make mistakes typing text to the browser. It would be such a blessing to simply be able to use the same keyboard layout for all of our work with BibleWorks, regardless of what is going on under the hood.

Am I correct about BW8, or does it alternate keyboard layouts for the browser? I'm sure such a feature would push us to an upgrade.
If it doesn't, is there some other solution for us?

MGVH
10-05-2009, 12:45 AM
@kalogeros:
I completely agree with your comments. I find it nearly impossible to type in Greek in the Editor of BW8 because I am not accustomed to its keyboard, especially for applying accents and breathing marks.
If I try to use Unicode Greek by clicking on the little alpha with the circle above it on the Editor button bar, it automatically switches me to Arial Unicode MS (and I can't find any way to switch it so that it uses my preferred Unicode font for Greek, Cardo) and it switches me to the Greek keyboard I've installed under Windows. (And I should note that I am using WinXP. Results may be different under Vista.) When I try to type accents or breathing marks, however, I mainly get question marks. (This seems to be an old problem (http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1349&highlight=editor+unicode).)
The polytonic Greek keyboard I use is the one from Logos, but it has some problems... There is no other Windows Polytonic Greek keyboard that is any good that I know of.
The only way I can get results I want is to use Tavultesoft Keyman with the Manual Lopez keyboard. (Found HERE (http://www.tavultesoft.com/keyman/downloads/keyboards/search.php?Search=greek&Submit=Search&btnsubmit.x=0&btnsubmit.y=0) under Classical Greek.)
What this still means is that BW's internal keyboard is not consistent with the keyboard I'd like to use in the editor and in other programs.

Adelphos
10-05-2009, 01:15 PM
completely agree with your comments. I find it nearly impossible to type in Greek in the Editor of BW8 because I am not accustomed to its keyboard, especially for applying accents and breathing marks.

It would be nice if BW could implement the standard Greek keyboard just as they have done with the Israeli keyboard. In fact, I would like to see them ultimately move to use these native keyboards as the default for each language. I know it would take time, but it seems that is the wave of the future with regard to native keyboards anyway.

Adelphos
10-05-2009, 03:08 PM
I have not seen BW8 yet -- we are still plugging along with a v5 and a v6, and an occasional a v7 visiting in a laptop -- but it looks like it still doesn't have alternate keyboard layouts for the browser, or even the ability to map one out, for the BW Greek font.

Kalhmera...

Even though what you desire is not yet implemented in BW8, (although I suspect it very likely will be in the future), the Unicode support is far better in BW8 than in 5 or 6, so the upgrade would probably be beneficial to you even in that regard, not to mention the literally tons of other new features and enhancements between the versions.

Ergo, if it's financially feasible, I would upgrade anyway, and as I said, I am sure that BW is now aware of this enhancement request, so if it's going to be implemented, it will be BW8 that it is implemented in.

BW8 einai qaumasio...

Eutychus
12-05-2009, 09:00 AM
For some unknown reason I am able to export unicode text. I certainly don't don't understand how I made it happen. :)

Mark Eddy
12-05-2009, 11:53 AM
For some unknown reason I am able to export unicode text. I certainly don't don't understand how I made it happen. :)
If you open the BW Options Window and click on Output Format Options "Selected Browse Text" you will be able to choose to export in Unicode. Perhaps you accidentally clicked a different "Favorite Settings for Browse Window Copy Menu" from the dropdown list at the top right hand corner of this window.
You may also have inadvertently unchecked the Unicode fonts in the BW Options Window "Fonts" window under the "General" heading.
I hope this give you some leads.
Mark Eddy

Eutychus
12-09-2009, 05:24 AM
If you open the BW Optins Window and click on Output Format Options "Selected Browse Text" you will be able to choose to export in Unicode. Perhaps you accidentally clicked a different "Favorite Settings for Browse Window Copy Menu" from the dropdown list at the top right hand corner of this window.
You may also have inadvertently unchecked the Unicode fonts in the BW Options Window "Fonts" window under the "General" heading.
I hope this give you some leads.
Mark Eddy

Mark, your instruction helped. Thanks.