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[WMASTERS] 8-bit fonts, Macintoshes and Eudora


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Prof. George Hart wrote two weeks ago:
>I have a Mac, and I have implemented Inaimathi on it, so that I can read
>mail composed with Muthu's system on Eudora.  
>Surprise -- IT DOESN'T WORK!
>After being totally confused for a few days, I have figured out the
>following (using Virtual PC on the Mac so that I can send mail to 
>and from both Windows and Mac environments).
>All of the following applies to anjal (and/or Inaimathi, which has 
>the same coding) -- and only the Tamil part of the fonts (the upper 128):
>1. Mac to Mac is OK.
>2. PC to PC is OK.
>3. Mac to PC or PC to Mac produces garbage (apparently), BUT
>4. If you take the garbage produced by 3 and send it back, that is, if you
>send PC to Mac and send what you got back to PC, it's OK again.  
>What this means is the following.
>What this means is that 8 BIT CHARACTERS ARE A CAN OF WORMS. 

As most of you know, I myself is a heavy Mac user. After similar
experiences I gave up on Eudora. I fiddled around with Netscape Mailer
managed to figure out conditions by which I can send and receive 8-bit
based tamil texts (Inaimathi/Anjal font of Muthu and also TamilNet font
IRDU, Singapore) without any problem. I have been using Netscape since 
then to read all postings of tamil.net and webmasters lists.

As a response to Hart's posting, Leong Kok Yong pointed out that the
was an example of bad implementation of the software and there is
 wrong with 8-bit schemes as such.
After Hart's posting, I went back to Eudora to see if I can fix the
After about 10 days of trials and exchange of hundred of  emails
(from totally scrambled to partially readable and finally fully intact), 
I am pleased to inform that, now I can successfully use the Eudora 
on my Macintosh to send and also read emails in tamil. In the last two
days I have been reading the tamil.net postings directly on my 
Eudora (running on PowerMac) in tamil without any problem.  
I have used both Inaimathi of Muthu and also TamilNet font of 
IRDU in my trials.

As Prof. Hart pointed out in his email, problems arise due to different 
computer systems using different character sets as their default case 
(Macintosh use Mac character set, Windows use 
Windows-Latin 1 (aka as CodePoint 252) set, HTML 
(Netscape, Internet explorer) using ISO-Latin 1 and so on. 

In my trials, I have used Eudora Pro 3.1 to send emails to our institute
unix machine (igcsun3.epfl.ch) and pick it up using the POP server
either on Netscape mailer or on my Mac itself. For sending emails, the
only requirement is to have Quoted-Printable (QP) checked on. 
The problem is to read the tamil emails arriving at Eudora. You need to
a translator to remap the characters to correspond to Mac character set.
Eudora, in fact talks about using such translators for exchanging emails
in 8-bit format but this information is rather hidden (as appendix E
in their manual). I managed to collect a dozen such translators that
remap the email text to different character sets in both directions
and outgoing). One such translators does the job beautifully for 
deciphering incoming tamil emails.

I have not yet tested the same with Eudoro Light but from what I
read in the manuals, the procedure should work equally well on
Eudora Light 3.1 also. (Eudora Pro is a commercial package while
Eudora Light is a freeware).

I would be happy to assist any Mac user to get their Eudora going
to read emails of tamil.net and also to send tamil emails out.
Right now, I am a bit busy with official work. Hopefully in the
coming weeks I will be able to put up a webpage on this (with the 
required translator files for direct download) as part of my
tamil electronic library pages. Sendme an email if you would like
to use the Eudora on Mac rightway. 



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