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Netscape 2.0 beta and Greek fonts

Netscape versions up to 1.12 used a single font family for all HTML pages without taking into account possiblt language differences between pages. It was thus possible to read pages written with the ISO-8859-7 encoding (Greek ELOT-928) by simply running Netscape with Xresources to substitute the Greek fonts for the default ones.

Netscape 2.0 beta, however, supports multiple language encodings for many languages. Unfortunately it does not include the Greek encoding although it would be trivial to make the necessary additions given the multilingual support already available (make sure you write to Netscape using the Help/Feedback menu choice and ask them to add ISO-8859-7 to the supported encodings list). Furthermore, the fact that the encoding is now taken into account when fonts are used for the display means that it is no longer possible to just use an Xresource with a different font family because that would not affect the selected encoding.

The only option that does not involve messing with the Netscape executable file is to create aliases for the Greek fonts that make Netscape think they are "Central European" fonts and then pretend that the Greek pages are written using the Central European encoding (ISO-8859-2). This is fairly easy to do, and by changing the menu names with the supplied command we can also make "Greek" appear in the menus although Netscape does not really think that Greek encoding is used. The supplied alias files create aliases with the encoding field changed to 8859-2 (from 8859-7) and we can then make Netscape use them by selecting them from the Options/General/Fonts menu.

It should be noted that this is not a "clean" solution as it might in principle interfere with applications that need the 8859-2 encoding. Write to Netscape and tell them to support Greek!

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HR-Net Group, January 21, 1996
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