[b-hebrew] Mozilla Thunderbird mail software
Christopher V. Kimball
mail at cvkimball.com
Sat Jan 15 19:00:27 EST 2005
We should keep in mind that the b-hebrew list is read by amateurs (like
me) for whom transliteration is an impediment. Going to a system that
would include Hebrew text would make the list's expertise more widely
I considered writing a Hebrew-to-transliterated-text and
transliterated-text-to-Hebrew converter, either as a Java application or
a web site. On second thought, however, neither Java nor a
Java-compatible browser would be available on the "legacy" systems that
some list users have.
If you look at the system requirements for Thunderbird at
you see that Thunderbird will run on systems pretty far back, i.e
Windows 98 on a Pentium 233 MHz processor with 64 MB RAM and 52 MB hard
drive. Such a system is essentially scrap in the USA today and should be
obtainable as a (tax-deductible) gift. More than 80% of users of the
Unicode/XML Tanach have operating systems that meet this requirement.
1. Unicode (UTF-8) encoding is critical, sending in UTF-8 encoded HTML
rather than raw text is better yet. I doubt very much that mail systems
mangle either of these aspects of a message.
2. High-quality Unicode biblical Hebrew fonts are available free. Even
without downloading them, reasonably-modern systems display consonantal
text by default.
3. With HTML messages, the Thunderbird View/"Message source" menu item
gives the Unicode character equivalents, i.e. א ר ץ
(ארץ) of the Hebrew text.
4. Thunderbird rendering of biblical Hebrew text is substantially
improved by placing a better usp10.dll module in the Thunderbird main
directory on Windows systems. See the Unicode/XML Tanach "Installation"
page for more information about this module.
5. http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/keyboards/kbdheb.html gives the
Windows Hebrew keyboard layout. I haven't found a way to add
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