Additional Information relating to the Editor

Companion Applications

Local Language Browser - LB

  This browser can be used for viewing Multilingual documents prepared by using the Editor - IITMfcEd. The language in which the document is desired to be viewed can be selected from the dialog box, which appears when the utility is invoked. As the name suggests, local language files can only be viewed and no editing operations are allowed in this browser. Files can be printed from the browser following the same procedure as for printing from the Editor. The browser uses the same support files as the multilingual editor but requires a separate lb.ini file in the c:\windows directory. The .ini file will be installed during setup. The local language browser lb.exe may be setup as an external viewer to view .llf files served from a web server. Email attachments may also include a .llf file and the contents automatically displayed when mail is seen, if lb.exe is specified as the viewer to be invoked by the email client when an attachment of a .llf file is present in the received mail.

Transliterated text Viewer - TVIEW

  For several years now the transliteration method using Roman letters has been used for representing letters or aksharas of our scripts. Quite a lot of data entry using the transliteration approach has been effected and there are many websites offering texts of important works in Indian languages in transliterated form. The IITMadras Software includes a program called tview (as well as tconvert) to allow transliterated text to be viewed directly in the appropriate scripts.

  "tview" is essentially a conversion program which converts the Roman into the .llf format (temporarily) which is viewed by automatic invocation of "lb" browser. Thus all the benefits of 'lb' are available for tview. To identify the language/script that should be used in displaying the text, tview looks for the following information with the very first line of text in the file (we call this the header)

% <language_name> <method>

where the % symbol should occupy the first column of the string. <language_name> specifies the language or script in which tview should display the converted text while <method> refers to one of the following transliteration schemes

ITRANS - Popular Transliteration method for Devanagari.
ADHAWIN -- Tamil Transliteration scheme
RIT -- Telugu Transliteration scheme
MYLAI -- Another Tamil Transliteration scheme.

 If the entered text incorporates this header as the first line, tview would bring up the appropriate display. If the header is missing, tview will not make a default assumption about the languages as well as the scheme and will display an error message and quit. The tconvert program is identical to the tview program in functionality but will prompt the user for the missing information if a header is not present. Also tconvert will save the converted file in a .llf format the user may edit later. Tconvert is not included in the distribution. Those interested are requested to send an e-mail message to the address specified in the contact page and ask for a copy. Currently versions for Linux (ELF binaries) and Microsoft Windows(98/Me/2000/XP) are distributed (April 2006).

Note: tview and tconvert will have to be invoked from the command line since they were written to be compatible with other systems. Under windows one does this easily be invoking the same from the Dos prompt. More recent versions of tview support GUI features. Please refer to the concerned page discussing these utilities.

Local Language file to HTML file Converter - LLF2HTML

  This converter is a utility that converts a file which you have stored in the Local Language Format (.llf) into Hypertext Markup Language format (HTML) thereby providing you with an option to put up your local language files on the web. This may also be used to convert the .llf files into RTF (.rtf files). The resulting .rtf files can be viewed with appropriate utilities Under Win95, Linux and other Unix systems. The conversion program also supports the use of Unicode fonts so that the local language files may be displayed on web browsers which correctly handle Unicode fonts.


Some Limitations

The following may be viewed as some of the inadequacies and difficulties experienced with the Editor.

Magnification and Italicization of fonts have not been incorporated at present in the system. The required magnification can however be set in the .ini file but once set, it cannot be changed during the operation of the Editor.

Arbitrary Samyuktaksharas cannot be keyed in. Some four and five consonant syllables in regular use will have to be handled specifically with the "Half Form" based data entry.

The text typed into the editor window will not automatically wrap around in the Windows version. Essentially, it works as a typewriter where at the end of the line, a return must be pressed. The editor will sound the bell when data entry has reached the end of the line and there is space for only a couple of more aksharas.

The Editor is a text Editor and so lacks word processing features. Such features are not really very essential in the context of document preparation since the text prepared by the Editor may be taken to Word or other applications and formatted quickly. Spelling Check features are not supported.

There is no Undelete feature in the Editor.

Cut/Copy Paste operations work on whole lines and not a portion of text on a line. Also the option of cut and paste is limited to a single file, one cannot cut and paste across .llf files.

The standard Editor has no provision for scripts written right to left, such as Urdu, Arabic and Hebrew. A separate version of the Editor must be used if data entry is to be done for Urdu. Also, since the lexical ordering of the characters in Urdu is different from that of other Indian languages, transliteration between Urdu and Indian scripts will not be strictly correct.

IIT Madras has developed a special version of the Editor for Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Avesta. Please visit the web site of the lab for additional information. (May 2001)

General Recommendations for using the Editor  

  • Though the system can handle any number of languages, it is recommended that users type in only two or three languages in a file.
  • Languages like Sanskrit may have complicated combination of different conjuncts for a single character. There are quite a few conjuncts, which have not been included in the IITM set of supported conjuncts. In such cases you might have to split up the character into individual conjuncts where each conjunct is stored as a character by itself. Alternately you may use the special half form data entry described above.
  • It is recommended that the maximum number of characters per line be limited to typically 40 local language characters. This is based on the observation that in normal printouts, one sees about 30-40 characters in a line of text.. The Editor will accept upto a hundred aksharas per line but then horizontal scrolling will come into effect.
  • Minimal Troubleshooting guide

    Some of the commonly observed problems and the sources of the errors are given below.

  • Only rectangular boxes or junk characters appear on the screen as you type in.

  • Caused by the absence of fonts. Please install the fonts for the language/script chosen.
  • Bindu, Chandra Bindu and some special characters (such as Anudatam ) do not appear as they are typed in.

  • This is a consequence of the Editor having to display these on the previously typed in akshara. The symbols will appear if the screen is redrawn say by minimizing and then maximizing the window. The text will appear properly when you open the file again.
  • Using the carat key in Find and Replace.

  • When entering a search string, the Ctrl key will not work. During the entry the search string is entered as a sequence of Roman letters and with the Ctrl key the key the sequence will be wrongly interpreted. Use the caret key '^' to indicate that conjuncts are being formed. Read the section under Search and Replace.
  • At times after randomly switching between English and the Local language data entry, the keyboard may misbehave.

  • Just save the file and restart the Editor. Open the file again and continue editing. On some rare occasions, data entered in the Local language might appear in English. This portion may be cut out or edited out.
  • On some systems with Accelerated Graphic display adapters, some of the matras may not be seen during data entry, especially those, which are written on top of a character or below. The internally stored text will be proper however. When you open the file again, the text should be seen properly.

  • In systems running WindowsXP/2000 some kind of screen lockup is seen when an invalid akshara is formed. A long beep accompanies this and the editor returns to the normal state after a long time, typically a minute or longer. Also on WinXP systems, gaps will be observed between aksharas. The screen lockup problem has been sorted out in the latest version of the Editor (April 2006). The gap in the aksharas will not be seen if the more recently introduced IITM Fonts are used.



    Companion Applications

    Multilingual Local Language Browser - LB 

    Transliterated Text Viewer - TVIEW 

    Local language to HTML format Converter - LLF2HTML 

    Conversion Utility to generate PDF documents - LLF2PDF

    Miscellaneous Information

    Guidelines for avoiding problems 

    Minimal Troubleshooting Guide 

    Limitations seen in the Editor