Discussion:
Rescue for Kryukov's Thessalonica
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Diana Wright
2014-09-17 17:35:43 UTC
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Posted for Pierre MacKay.

DW


The announcement of plans for a final upgrade of GreekKeys and Greek
Unicode fonts offers an opportunity to deplore the loss of Alexey Kryukov's
Thessalonica. Kryukov has simply disappeared from the internet. It does
not seem possible to get in touch with him in any way, and there does not
seem to be an archive of the last issue of Thessalonica. This is a very
great loss, because Thessalonica was elegantly coded for develop[ment, with
a clear system of *.xcu models that allow "on-the-fly" generation of
Unicode code-points using post-positive accents from a basic ASCII
keyboard. After I discovered Thessalonica a few years ago, I coded for my
own "Ibycus" system of post-positives (a little like Beta-code, but without
the hideous requirement of IBM punch card capitals, and without the
distressing substitution of / and \ for the obviously preferable ' and `
--- etc.) . The xcu module structure was so clear that the entire job took
only about 4 hours.

It would be preferable to have Kryukov's explicit cooperation, but I have
no idea how he could be reached, and he did make Thessalonica available in
such a way that we could in good conscience rescue it. I have a complete
working Thessalonica in my latest LibreOffice 4.2 editor. Kryukov had made
it work with Word, although he hated the job and froze it after a certain
level of development.

I am thoroughly up on developing xcu modules for UNO extensions, but I do
not understand the operation of what lies behind making them work. Kryukov
seems to have used Java, and to have had some problem with Sun's and now
Oracle's Open office. His preference for LibreOffice was very clear, and
I have found LibreOffice an increasingly satisfactory platform for
multilingual text-editing.

I wrote a manual chapter for the use of my Ibycus coding, but that does
nnot seem to be discoverable. Since the polytonic groupings for accents,
e.g., a(=| for ᾇ (Linotype Palatino) follow the general practice of
Unicode 5.0, I could recreate my part quite easily, but it would be nice if
someone had a copy of Kryukov's info file.

Microsoft has been dragged kicking and screaming into the XML world, but
their XML, in DOCX files is typically opaque and overloaded with a few
dozen kitchen sinks. It should still be possible to get a UNO extension
working with it. I am just not capable at my age of taking that on, partly
because I loath MS-Word as much as Kryukov did.

Is there anyone else out there who would be interested in trying to rescue
Thessalonica? It really is a great loss.

Pierre MacKay
Emeritus Professor of Classics and Near Eastern Languages
Dept. of Classics, Box 353110
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3110

www.angiolello.net <http://www.angiolello.net>
Ralph Hancock
2014-09-17 19:11:16 UTC
Permalink
When Thessalonica became unusable in new versions of OpenOffice, I put what
I think is the latest version on my web site at
http://www.hancock.dircon.co.uk/thessalonica3-1.zip

I am using it successfully in Windows 7 with OpenOffice 3.4.1, to which I
reverted specially for this purpose. This version of OO can still work with
the current version of Java, 1.70.0_65-b20 -- but for how long?

However, an attempt to do the same thing on my iMac with OS 10.6.8,
reverting to OpenOffice 3.0.0 -- the only v3 build I could find on the web
-- failed, for unknown reasons. Thessalonica was working fine here until
OO4 wrecked it. The Thessalonica file here is thessalonica3.1.uno.oxt,
apparently the same as that used in Windows, but I have not put copies from
the Mac on the web in case one or both are defective. I have two copies of
this file on the Mac and will send them to anyone interested for
assessment, and put one on the web if it turns out to be OK -- and, of
course, different from the Windows file.

By the way, for people with a working copy of Thessalonica who are annoyed
by its having chi on the X key and xi on the C key, I have made a
replacement keyboard file, available here
http://www.hancock.dircon.co.uk/thessalonica_keyboards.zip
with chi on C and xi on X.It covers both the Greek Babel and Greek Ibycus
keyboards, and comes with instructions about the location of the keyboard
files so that they can be replaced.

I am happy to help in any way I can with resurrecting this useful program,
but my knowledge of Java coding could be typed on a postage stamp.

RH

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