9.245 HTML Greek? layered hypertext?

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Sat, 21 Oct 1995 15:23:19 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 245.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: Hans Rollmann <hrollman@morgan.ucs.mun.ca> (5)
Subject: HTML Greek

[2] From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca> (28)
Subject: design of hypertext

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 08:17:04 -0230 (NDT)
From: Hans Rollmann <hrollman@morgan.ucs.mun.ca>
Subject: HTML Greek

I'm sorry if this has been discussed already and I am requesting info
already supplied. In my homepages I am using HTML formatted texts. I
find the extended ASC useful for German and French. I'd like to add Greek
to the text. Is there a way to use the complete Greek alphabet instead
of the few scientific Greek characters available in extended ASC? Any
help is appreciated. HANS ROLLMANN <http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~hrollman>

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 11:26:21 -0400
From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: design of hypertext

It occurred to me recently (as it happens, when reading a piece of popular
scientific prose) that the density and complexity of metaphor in the text
would be a remarkably difficult thing to represent, say for the purposes of
exposition. I then began to wonder what kind of visual representation would
make clear the various "layers" or "levels" of metaphorical language.
Thinking about hypertext, I concluded right away that inherent in the design
of all hypertext systems I had seen so far were some serious problems for
the kind of thing I had in mind. If, for example, I wished to see the
annotation on some text, the best I could get would be a window popping up
somewhere, obscuring some other portion of the text and quickly getting in
the way. Or, with the primitive background and foreground mechanism of
something like HyperCard or Toolbook, I suppose rather clumsy blocks of text
could be retained as background from one foreground to the next, but no more
than one foreground at a time would be possible. (Or am I wrong about this?)
I could not view all the annotations of a given type, say, without leaving
the text, so I would not even have the mechanism allowed by a printed
text-and-commentary, which is to grab the intervening pages and so at least
occasionally see both at the same time. What I found myself visualizing was
a system that would allow transparent layers to be placed, one over the
other, fully transparent except for the interiors of each letter-stroke.
Something like one can produce in Quark Express or Photoshop, except
that the scholar making the notes or reading them should be able to
create and manipulate these layers easily.

The newest NetScape (2.0 beta) introduces independent frames, which will
help. But this is not quite what one sometimes needs.

Two questions. Does what I describe have in your view any utility? Are there
any technical reasons why it would prove especially difficult or messy?


Willard McCarty, Centre for Computing in the Humanities
Departments of Classical Studies and Italian Studies (Toronto)
(416) 978-3974 voice (416) 978-6519 fax mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca