[b-hebrew] Hebrew keyboard & font size

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Jan 19 14:13:03 EST 2006

On Thursday 19 January 2006 07:25, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 19/01/2006 13:20, Herman Meester wrote:
> >Frankly, I don't know much about software, but I would encourage
> >scholars that do like to have their software optimised to try Linux.
> >As the Linux source code is public and the kernel can be altered by
> >anyone, this would be the ideal system to optimise, for example, for
> >Hebrew input methods.
> Yes, in principle anyone can optimise Linux for Hebrew. But it requires
> a very special set of skills to be able to do this properly, and if you
> go ahead and make such changes on your own you will get no support at
> all. Free software can come at a huge time cost if you have to fix every
> problem yourself. You can of course rely on what others have already
> done, but for Hebrew support that is not yet as far ahead as it is for
> Windows.

I have to disagree.  The biggest difference in support between Linux and 
Windows is the location.  Linux support generally comes in the form of user 
groups, newsgroups and other ways that actual users interact with each other.  
I greatly prefer this approach, because I know that 1) the things they tell 
me are things they have actually tried, 2) I can ask for more specifics and 
even code snippets, 3) the interaction tends to be much more personal, and 4) 
it's free and easily accessible.

Obviously, not all free software is equal, any more than all Windows programs 
are equal.  Word has the bug mentioned earlier, whereas I haven't had that 
problem with Corel WordPerfect.  OpenOffice is a very stable, virtually 
bug-free office suite that is much more intuitive than most Windows apps (and 
available for Windows as well) that originated at Sun Microsystems, not 
exactly a bit player in the software game.  And don't get me started on the 
stability of Linux over Windows.  I run Fedora Core 4, by the way...

For things like Hebrew search programs, the major ones for Linux - the sword 
project with its two front-ends, bibletime for KDE and gnomesword for gnome, 
aren't as powerful as, say, the Libronix system that Logos now uses.  They 
also haven't been around as long and are playing catch-up.  Frankly, having 
compared the two side by side (I have used Logos for about 10 years), it's 
getting there, and much faster than one might think considering it's all done 
by volunteers and the whole thing is offered absolutely free.

The one real caveat about Linux: it will force you to know something about how 
your computer works.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Dave Washburn
"Maybe I'll trade it for a new hat."

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list