Unicode Polytonic Greek for the World Wide Web
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Unicode Polytonic Greek
for the World Wide Web

Version 0.9.7



BeOS is a somewhat UNIX-like operating system designed to provide robust support for multimedia applications (audio and video). BeOS 5 provides relatively full support for the UTF-8 encoding of Unicode. The version of BeOS 5 tested is the Personal Edition, which only provides a 500 MB partition, insufficient for any kind of detailed testing; and I have decided not to pay the money for (or go through the work of partitioning and reformatting a drive for) testing purposes at this time. In particular, the PE partition does not provide enough space for the BeOS distribution of Mozilla.

The native web browser in BeOS 5, NetPositive, is capable of displaying Unicode; however, it does not understand CSS. I have not yet experimented with the deprecated <font face="Unicode Font Name"> "element." I would assume that the use of the font tag will work; however, I have had success by assigning a Unicode font (BeOS provides support for Windows-designed TrueType fonts) to the Unicode, Western, and Greek language selections.

The creators of BeOS, Be Inc., were bought out by Palm Inc. in 2001, and all of Be Inc.'s assets are now Palm Inc.'s property. As of the date of the purchase, BeOS is no longer distributed (though one might find an old binary of BeOS 5 here or there, or a binary of the personal edition and instructions on how to install that on a full partition). Palm Inc. has made it clear that they will not distribute BeOS in the future; however, it is equally clear that BeOS technologies will be adapted in some future versions of the Palm operating system. Perhaps in Palm 6 we will finally be able to use Unicode on our Palm handhelds.

There are also a number of open source operating system projects which aim at imitating the BeOS user interface or APIs. I do not know if any of them are Unicode capable, but they should only be experimented with by those with very advanced computer knowledge.

Installing Fonts

Web Browsers

The native web browser in BeOS 5 is called NetPositive. NetPositive lacks support for JavaScript or CSS; however, it does support Unicode. One must use the deprecated HTML 3.2 <font> element to assign a font to text and have it be understood by NetPositive.

That said, the odds of a reader coming across your page who is actually using NetPositive is virtually zero (I do not think that I have ever seen NetPositive in my server logs).

There is a port of Mozilla for BeOS 5. Though I have not tested this port, it is very likely that Mozilla supports Unicode on BeOS 5. I would suggest that those few authors who are targeting an audience where BeOS makes up a larger than usual fraction of users target Mozilla instead of NetPositive.

Screen shot of Alcestis text in Netpositive in BeOS 5 (Cardo font)

BeOS 5 - Netpositive browser, Cardo font (precomposed characters, UTF-8)

 Unicode Polytonic Greek for the World Wide Web Version 0.9.7
 Copyright © 1998-2002 Patrick Rourke. All rights reserved.
D R A F T - Under Development
 Please do not treat this as a published work until it is finished!
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