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[Sample] Nicaea: A Palm Pilot Greek Polytonic font.
Version 1.0: 2001-02-27.
Nick Nicholas, opoudjis [AT] optusnet . com . au

This software is also available at:
Palm Boulevard.

Nicaea is a font for polytonic Greek for the Palm Pilot, using the GreekKeys mapping --- this being the predominant 8-bit font encoding for polytonic Greek on the Macintosh and PC. Until full-throttle Unicode fonts make their at-least-2-MB way onto the Palm Pilot (!), this is a stopgap to allow you to browse polytonic Greek on your PDA.

Nicaea is based on NiceFont (distributed in the Cool Fonts package by Ealoha Designs), but is somewhat rounder.

The standard procedures apply for installing this font: you will need to have something like Hackmaster and FontHack123 install to access this font in your application. As always, Hackmaster and FontHack play around with your Palm system, and should be used with due caution.

The easiest way to use this font is to associate it in a DOC reader with an infrequently used font (say, Large Bold), through FontHack. DOC documents created from source texts with GreekKeys mapping can then be browsed in that font.

This font (inevitably but naughtily) uses characters in the 0x80-0x9F range outside of Latin-1; as a result, not all the characters are going to be accessible through your Keyboard utility (alphas with diacritics and self-standing diacritics.) Typing polytonic Greek into your Palm is not really feasible for now; you might want to check out a Greek Palm localisation (like Greek PiLoc), which will use monotonic Greek.

This font is freeware. If you wish to use any of these fonts in commercial or shareware software, please contact me at the email address above. PalmTM is a registered trademark of palmOne Computing Inc., 3Com Corporation or its subsidiaries.

Since Nicaea was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, Michael Neuhold has come up with his own polytonic Greek fonts with GreekKeys mapping (Helbetike, Brittanike), and Joseph Park has created Cilicia; both are high-resolution fonts (320 x 320), which you may also want to check out.


Of course, now that you have your Greek polytonic font, you'll want something to read on it. As there's a relative dearth of public domain Greek polytonic texts in whatever encoding, this is not necessarily straightforward. And once you get your text, you'll need to convert it from its native encoding to GreekKeys, if it's not already in that scheme. (Converters are available: Sean Redmond's (web-based), Chris Blackwell's (Mac), Michael Neuhold's (Java), Hugh Cayless' (Java).)

Note that if you are on MacOSX, you must save your text in Western (MacOS Roman) encoding, not UTF-8 or Latin-1; the encoding relies on using a pre-standard font encoding, so having the text in a standard encoding defeats the purpose. Of current Mac-based converters, only Pordible has been as working successfully with GreekKeys texts; Dropbook and MakeDocDD do not. On PC, avoid Palmdoc; QEX functions well. The problem in all instances is that you need to use a non-standard character set; you may need to experiment with several text converters.

I'll be posting here such texts as they become available. If and when I get time to convert freely available Greek texts, I will do so. If you've already done so, I'll be happy to link to you.

For now, as a demo, I've put up:


Thanks to Adelheid van Coillie, Wim van den Groenendaal, Joseph Sungchun Park for feedback.

Nick Nicholas, opoudjis [AT] optusnet . com . au
Created: 2001-02-27; Last revision: 2004-08-22