Re: Greek characters and Unicode

Subject: Re: Greek characters and Unicode
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: "Ricardo J. Rodriguez" <rrodriguez -at- nseg -dot- org>, "Free Framers" <framers -at- omsys -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2000 16:41:13 -0700

At 12:54 AM 9/5/00 +0200, Ricardo J. Rodriguez wrote:


first of all, thanks indeed for the answers to my question about how to
type greek characters in FrameMaker. I think I understand much better
now how fonts works in Windows NT. Please, could you help to me to
understand what is the relation, if any, between the UNICODE support/no
support and the easyness to change from Greek, to European, to Russian,
etc while typing? As far as I know, FrameMaker 6.0 doesn't support
UNICODE whereas MS Word does it. It's really easy to change if typing
within MS Word, but not as easy if working in FrameMaker.

On fact, some of you advice me to use MS Word to typing and after that
cut and paste within the FrameMaker document. We must dealt with a
number of multilingual edition implying typing in Russian, Portuguese,
Polish and Czech.
All versions of FrameMaker and FrameMaker+SGML are liimited to
the 255 ASCII code points, which correspond to the first 255
characters in Unicode. However, within that set there
are at least 5 locked code points which cannot be used. Some
Central European and Cyrillic require these locked code points, and
thus FrameMaker cannot be used for them. I seem to recall, however,
that some Central European users have developed cumbersome
workarounds to the locked code point problem.

The only exceptions are:

1. Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, languages are supported by
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML 5.5 and up, using the double-byte

2. FrameMaker+SGML 5.5.6 and up can export XML from structured
documents, and those exported documents will use Unicode. But since
FrameMaker+SGML (with the aforementioned exception of double-byte
languages) is limited to the first 255 code points of Unicode, that's
not much help, and the locked code point problem mentioned previously
is still operative (i.e., you can't export characters you can't type).

For publishing software that (unlike FrameMaker) provide full Unicode
support, there are Unicode fonts available. Many of them can support
as many as 40 languages in a single font . Thus, within a single
document, without changing fonts, you could type characters in all
40 of those languages.

You mentioned that someone suggested you could get around Frame's
limitations by typing text in MS Word 2000 (which supports Unicode)
and then paste the text into FrameMaker. But any characters in the
Word document that used those 5 locked code points will not come
across into FrameMaker. Also, to use the Word-to-Frame pasting method
successfully, the paragraph and character styles/catalogs in the Word
and FrameMaker documents must be identical. By identical, I mean
they must both use the same tagnames, and those tags in both
documents must specify exactly the same formatting, including,
in the case of non-English documents, exactly the identical foreign

The logical point at which full Unicode support should have been
added to Frame products was release 6.0, the first non-point release
by Adobe in more than 4 years. Admittedly, this would have been
a major undertaking, but the product cannot survive for long without
full Unicode support, as is available in other Adobe publishing
products (InDesign, for instance). The fact that Unicode support was
not added in the 6.0 release is ominous. Many of us believe
6.0 is the last Frame release that Adobe intends to produce.
In other words, Adobe has, for all intents and purposes, put the
Frame product line into maintenance mode, where it will
die a slow death.
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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