Unicode cont. was Re: [b-hebrew] 1 Samuel 7:2

Alain Verboomen - TanakhML Project, Brussels alain at tanakhml.org
Mon Jun 13 18:18:27 EDT 2005

Dear all,

Just a few words about Karl Randolph's quite interesting email dated 
/Wed May 18 13:18:08 EDT 2005/.

The main difference between Christopher V. Kimball website 
(http://www.cvkimball.com/Tanach/Tanach.xml) and mine 
(http://www.tanakhml.org/ or http://verboomen.starline-inc.de/) is, 
actually, a technical one:

* On Christopher's site, as far as I know, XML pages are sent as such to 
the client (your computer), along with an XSLT file telling your browser 
how to translate XML into HTML.  It's thus up to your browser to do the 
job, and some browsers do it well, some others poorly, some others by no 
means. It depends, actually, on the presence of an XSLT interpreter 
coupled with your browser (e.g. MSXML with IE6). Opera, for instance, is 
not able to transform XML into HTML, as it lacks an XSLT interpreter. 
IE6 does it well, but IE5 didn't. (Please, Christopher, do not hesitate 
to amend what I wrote above should I be wrong.)

* On TanakhML site, XML pages are dynamically generated by Apache server 
side on page request and sent to another server, Tomcat, where they are 
treated online by Cocoon (see http://www.apache.org/ for more 
onformation about Cocoon) who interpretes XSLT files to transform XML 
pages into classic HTML ones. HTML files created by Cocoon on server 
side are then sent to the client (your computer). Your browser is thus 
in no case responsible for doing the job. What your browser reads when 
accessing a  page from TanakhML is, actually, pure HTML! XML is only 
used there as an internal format, on server side, the "lingua franca" of 
the web remaining HTML.

There are, however, two other, quite distinct problems:

1 - The capability of browsers to correclty understand UNICODE (vs. 
ASCII). Some browsers do the job great (e.g. IE6, Opera), and some other 
not that good (e.g. Mozilla and Firefox always display hebrew points a 
little bit too left from the place they should be in).

2 - The capability of browsers to fully understand CSS. Some browsers 
(e.g. IE6), for instance, correclty understand  "text-align: justify" 
and "text-align-last: right" clauses, while some others do not (e.g. 
Mozilla, Firefox, Opera).

We are thus faced to at least three distinct groups of problems:

- XML vs. HTML: does your browser understand XSLT?
- UNICODE vs. ASCII: does your browser correctly process UNICODE?
- CSS vs. HTML-coded style: does your browser understand CSS (normally, 
yes), and which level of CSS (1, 2 or 3)?

Alain Verboomen
alain at tanakhml.org
TanakhML Project
Brussels, Belgium

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