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VMs: RE: Numbered transcription

Very well said Jorge!

FYI, everything I've done on a PC since 1981 can be read without
format loss by Microsoft programs, including my old WordPerfect5.x
files.  There are also a host of free filters at the Microsoft
site that deal with many formats I've never even heard of, and
since better than 90% of PC users and small business in America
use these programs, its more likely that my files are compatible
than not compatible.  The primary attraction is the incorporation
of new technologies, and with Microsoft finally being forced into
open sourcing, the standardization of these technologies will now
be allowed to move forward.  With Adobe, Microsoft and Apple
joining forces on the Open Text standard and implementation of new
technologies in CSS, things are looking up for standardized web
and text presentation.

I'm like you in that I have most of my stuff written in older
programs, like dB4 tables, with hundreds of programs written to
handle them.  As a cryppie though, I tend to stay very close to
the character form, and printouts using fonts are what have led me
to checking and rechecking the text for associations which in turn
helped formulate some of my more offbeat theories.  Granted they
have no use in number crunching, but fonts and colors can
certainly make a presentation.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-voynich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:owner-voynich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Jorge Stolfi
> Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 10:31 PM
> To: Voynich Ms. mailing list
> Subject: VMs: Re: Numbered transcription
> Hi all,
> I agree with Rene that format and encoding are
> non-issues to some
> extent. We have powerful conversion tools, such as
> bitrans, and every
> one is free to create and post an alternative version of the
> interlinear file, in his favorite encoding and format.
> For myself, I would rather stick to EVMT as the
> "reference" format for
> the time being, because it is truly
> platform-independent, and pretty
> much the simplest one that carries all the essential
> information ---
> not to mention that I already have tons of scripts and
> programs based
> on it.
> As I see it, switching to XML as the reference format
> would only make
> the file more difficult to edit (need special editors),
> or to process
> (needs lots of extra code just to parse and generate),
> or even to view
> (need an XML-enabled mail tool). As for MS-Word, well,
> I don't use MS
> software --- and I cannot understand why anyone would put their
> important data into such a "trapdoor" format, and then
> be forced to
> buy an expensive piece of software every few years just
> in order to
> get the data back...
> Ditto for EVA as the encoding. Glen is quite right in
> saying that by
> choosing EVA we are prematurely commiting to certain
> assumptions about
> glyph parsing and classification which may turn out to be wrong.
> (I have my own pet peeves in this area, such as the
> hooked versus
> straight <p>s and <f>s.) Moreover, most of the "easy"
> EVA code space has
> been used, so it may not be possible to accomodate
> transcriptions
> which make finer distinctions, such as those which Glen feels
> are needed. I also understand that such "glyph
> aliasing" and "glyph
> count" errors, which are only a nuisance for "language"
> believers, are
> a very serious problem for people who see Voynichese as cipher.
> On the othe hand, EVA does make all the distinctions
> which were made
> by previous encodings, and can be fairly easily mapped
> to them. EVA is
> even compatible with some alternative views, e.g. that
> <a> is the same
> as <ci>, or that <ee> is a single letter (just use bitrans). So,
> again, I think I will stick to EVA for the time being
> --- possibly
> until the "code" is cracked, or at least until we feel
> more confident
> about which finer distinctions are real. Needless to
> say, to address
> this issue we need at least some partial transcriptions
> with much
> finer categories than EVA --- such as the one which
> Glen is building.
> As for fonts, I personaly find the ASCII transcribed text (EVA,
> Currier, or whatever) easier to read and analyze than a
> VMS-fontified
> page. In any case, much of the Voynichese which I have
> too look at is
> in odd places --- in scripts and programs, in tables,
> in intermediate
> data files, in debugging messages --- were one cannot
> expect it to be
> properly XML-formatted and fontified.
> All the best,
> --stolfi