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Belarusian-HOWTO

Alexander Mikhailian, mikhailian@altern.org

v.0.1.5, 25 February 2001


Short guide in setting up Belarusian language support in Linux console, X
Window System, web-browsers, text editors, etc. Charsets used in the setup
are either windows-1251 or iso-8859-5. Belarusian characters can also be
found in koi8-ub, koi8-c, koi8-ru and, of course, Unicode. Although this
HOWTO is Linux-specific, many advices are applicable to other UNIX-like
systems.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
    1.1. History
    1.2. Comments
    1.3. New Versions
    1.4. Copyright
    1.5. Acknowledgements and Thanks
   
   
2. System-wide setup
    2.1. Choosing Charset
    2.2. windows-1251 in the kernel
    2.3. ISO-8859-5 in the kernel
    2.4. Setting locale
    2.5. Belarusian in console
    2.6. Belarusian in X Window System
   
   
3. Editing texts
    3.1. Emacs
    3.2. Spell-checking
    3.3. TeX
   
   
4. Browsers
    4.1. Netscape
    4.2. Lynx
   
   
5. Mailers
    5.1. Netscape Messenger
    5.2. Mutt
   
   
6. Further support

1. Introduction

1.1. History

This document was started in September 15, 1999 by Alexander Mikhailian
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.2. Comments

Comments on this HOWTO may be directed to the author [mailto:
mikhailian@altern.org] mikhailian@altern.org.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.3. New Versions

The newest version can always be found at [http://bellinux.sourceforge.net/]
the bellinux page.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.4. Copyright

This manual may be reproduced in whole or in part without restrictions.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.5. Acknowledgements and Thanks

Thanks to everyone who gave comments as I was writing this.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. System-wide setup

2.1. Choosing Charset

As for now, the choice is mainly between windows-1251 and iso-8859-5.
Windows-1251 provides compatibility with M$ Windows and it is is by far the
most popular charset for nearly all slavic languages. On the other side,
iso-8859-5 is better supported and easier to set up.

The present HOWTO will explain the use of both charsets in parallel. Unless
otherwise stated in the text, Belarusian support package from [http://
bellinux.sourceforge.net/] the bellinux page contains all the files mentioned
in the present HOWTO.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.2. windows-1251 in the kernel

Windows-1251 support in the kernel is needed to visualize MS Windows
filenames in cyrillic while the console and X Window system are localized in
windows-1251. As latest FAT file systems store filenames in Unicode, we have
to define the output charset of the Virtual File System layer and install the
support for windows-1251 in the kernel.

There is a patch for 2.2.14 kernels that is included in the Belarusian
support package. To apply the patch,

��*� cd /path_to_your_kernel_source_tree                             
                                                                     
   
��*� patch -p0 < patch_for_the_kernel.patch                          
                                                                     
   
��*�Recompile and reinstall the kernel modules. Refer to [http://
    www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/Kernel-HOWTO.html] Kernel-HOWTO for the details.
   
��*�Add
     codepage=866,iocharset=microsoft-cp1251                         
                                                                     
    to your mount options in order to get the filenames in windows-1251.
   
    To test the setup, execute
     mount /dev/hda -t vfat -o codepage=866,iocharset=iso8859-5 /mnt/hda 
                                                                         
    as root. Of course, you should replace /dev/hda by the name of your vfat
    partitions containing names in cyrillic.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.3. ISO-8859-5 in the kernel

There is built-in support for iso-8859-5 in Linux kernel. To enable
iso-8859-5, make sure you compile this module in the nls section of the
kernel setup. Normally, iso-8859-5 is compiled by default and can be loaded
either automatically or by issuing
 insmod nls_iso8859-5                                                        
                                                                             
as root.

Add
 codepage=866,iocharset=iso8859-5                                            
                                                                             
to your mount options in order to get the filenames in iso-8859-5.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.4. Setting locale

��*�Belarusian locale is available in glibc 2.2 and later. If you do not have
    the belarusian locale installed in your system, you can compile it
    yourself. The source is available at [http://bellinux.sourceforge.net/]
    the bellinux page. Issue
     localedef -f CP1251 -i be_BY be_BY.CP1251                       
                                                                     
    or
     localedef -f ISO-8899-5 -i be_BY be_BY.ISO-8899-5               
                                                                     
    to compile the locale in windows-1251 encoding or iso8859-5 encoding.
   
��*�Check how it works by setting the locale
     set  LANG=be_BY.CP1251; export LANG                             
                                                                     
    or
     set  LANG=be_BY.ISO-8859-5; export LANG                         
                                                                     
    and running a locale-aware program like date or cal.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5. Belarusian in console

2.5.1. Setting Belarusian with windows-1251

Some cyrillic console fonts are in fact russian fonts and lack many cyrillic
characters. Fortunately, UniCyr fonts by Vadinm Zhitnikov have all the glyphs
from cp866, cp1251, iso8859-5 and all printable symbols from koi8-r. Besides
the belarusian keyboard maps which you can find at the [http://
bellinux.sourceforge.net/] the bellinux page , other files are fairly
standard and are available in most linux distributions. To set up window-1251
in console,

��*�Load a UniCyr font
     consolechars -f UniCyr_8x16                                     
                                                                     
   
��*�Load by2_win.kmap keymap.
     loadkeys by2_win                                                
                                                                     
   
��*�Load Application-Charset Map cp1251.acm
     consolechars -m cp1251                                                                         
                                                                                                    
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.5.2. Setting Belarusian with iso-8859-5

There are two ways to set up Belarusian with iso-8859-5

��*�Load iso-8859-5 font
     consolechars -f iso05.f16                                       
                                                                     
   
��*�Load belarusian keymap by2.kmap or by.kmap
     loadkeys  by.kmap                                               
     loadkeys by2.kmap                                               
                                                                     
   

This method has one serious drawback - you will loose all pseudographic
characters and, say, you Midnight Commander will look somewhat naked. The
second method described below preserves all pseudographic characters:

��*�Load UniCyr font
     consolechars -f UniCyr_8x16                                     
                                                                     
   
��*�Load by2.kmap keymap or by.kmap
     loadkeys  by.kmap                                               
     loadkeys by2.kmap                                               
                                                                     
   
��*�Load Application-Charset Map iso05.acm
    consolechars -m iso05                                            
                                                                     
   

Beware that different Linux distributions have different console-related
packages - console-tools or kbd. Abovementioned scripts are meant to work
with console-tools which is by far more popular.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.6. Belarusian in X Window System

2.6.1. ISO-8859-5 in X Window System through XKB

This is is quite easy to set up.

��*�Install ISO-8859-5 fonts for X Window and make sure they are before other
    fonts in the fontpath. Refer to [http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/
    Font-HOWTO.html] Font-HOWTO for details on how to install fonts.
   
��*�Get the belarusian keyboard layout by from the [http://
    bellinux.sourceforge.net/] the bellinux page and put it on the place of
    any other keyborad layout in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/symbols/, e.g.
    instead of the belgian keyboard layout /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/symbols/be
   
    Put the following stings in your /etc/X11/XF86COnfig:
     XkbModel   "microsoft"                                          
     XkbLayout  "be"                                                 
     XkbOptions "grp:caps_toggle"                                    
                                                                     
   
��*�Don't forget to set up the system locale to be_BY.ISO8859-5 as described
    in Section 2.4. You will also want to make sure that iso-8859-5 fonts are
    before any other fonts in your font path.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.6.2. Windows-1251 in X Window System through XKB

This works only with XFree 4.0.2 and higher.

��*�Install ISO-8859-5 fonts for X Window and make sure they are before other
    fonts in the fontpath.
   
��*�Get the belarusian keyboard layout by from the [http://
    bellinux.sourceforge.net/] the bellinux page and put it on the place of
    any other keyborad layout in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/symbols/, e.g.
    instead of the belgian keyboard layout /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/symbols/be
   
��*�Put the following strings in your /etc/X11/XF86Config:
     XkbModel   "microsoft"                                          
     XkbLayout  "be"                                                 
     XkbOptions "grp:caps_toggle"                                    
                                                                     
   
��*�Don't forget to set up the system locale to be_BY.CP1251 as described in 
    Section 2.4.
   

To use windows-1251 with XFree 3.3.5 and 4.0, you have to apply a patch from
Aleksey Novodvorsky that allows the use of windows-1251 with XKB. The
original location is at [ftp.logic.ru/pub/logic/linux/be-locale] ftp.logic.ru
/pub/logic/linux/be-locale and it is also available from [http://
bellinux.sourceforge.net/] the bellinux page. Lucky users of Linux-Mandrake
RE get a patched XFree86 out of box.

Belarusian keyboard layout is palnned for all XFree releases after 4.0.2. To
make it work, you will have to add the following lines into /etc/X11/
XF86Config:
 XkbModel   "microsoft"                                                                                       
 XkbLayout  "by"                                                                                              
 XkbOptions "grp:caps_toggle"                                                                                 
                                                                                                              
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.6.3. Windows-1251 in X Window System through Xmodmap

��*�Uncomment
     XkbDisable                                                      
                                                                     
    line in your /etc/X11/XF86COnfig.
   
��*�Install windows-1251 fonts for X Windows and make sure thay are before
    other fonts in the path.
   
��*�Make and install xruskb package which can be downloaded from [http://
    bellinux.sourceforge.net] http://bellinux.sourceforge.net
   
��*�Replace .xmm files in your xruskb directory by those found at [http://
    bellinux.sourceforge.net/] the bellinux page.
   
��*�Add the following lines in your .Xdefaults file
     xrus*modeButton1.labelString: BEL xrus*modeButton1.label: BEL   
                                                                     
   
��*�Run
     xrus jcuken-cp1251                                              
                                                                     
    or
     xrus jcuken-iso5                                                
                                                                     
    to start keyboard switcher.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Editing texts

3.1. Emacs

Emacs is able to display Belarusian characters out of box in many Linux
distributions. However, the following conditions should satisfy:

��*�Cyrillic iso-8859-5 fonts should be installed.
   
��*�Emacs-mule package should be installed.
   

The user may want to change the default keyboard layout ("input method" in
emacs slang) to jcuken. This feature is provided by belarusian.el along with
some other goodies. Read the comments in the beginning of belarusian.el for
details on the setup procedure.

After installing belarusian.el, you will be able to switch the input method,
by typing C-\-cyrillic-belarusian-RET

For a more user-friendly setup, put the following lines in the .emacs file:
 ;; enables PC-like key mappings                                                                    
 (pc-bindings-mode)                                                                                 
 ;; enables PC-like selection                                                                       
 (pc-selection-mode)                                                                                
 ;; highlight selection                                                                             
 (transient-mark-mode t)                                                                            
 ;; use as many multilingual fonts as possible                                                      
 (set-default-font "fontset-standard")                                                              
 ;; set up windows-1251 as default encoding everywhere                                              
 (codepage-setup 1251)                                                                              
 (set-terminal-coding-system 'cp1251)                                                               
 (set-keyboard-coding-system nil)                                                                   
 (setq default-buffer-file-coding-system 'cp1251)                                                   
 (set-selection-coding-system 'cp1251)                                                              
 (prefer-coding-system 'cp1251)                                                                     
 (define-coding-system-alias 'windows-1251 'cp1251)                                                 
 (define-coding-system-alias 'microsoft-1251 'cp1251)                                               
 (define-coding-system-alias 'microsoft-cp1251 'cp1251)                                             
 (define-coding-system-alias 'windows-cp1251 'cp1251)                                               
 (define-coding-system-alias 'koi8-u 'cyrillic-koi8)                                                
 (define-coding-system-alias 'KOI8-R 'cyrillic-koi8)                                                
 (modify-coding-system-alist 'file "\.*" 'cp1251)                                                   
 (modify-coding-system-alist 'file "\\.el$" 'iso-2022-7bit)                                         
                                                                                                    
This configuration is for windows-1251 setup.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2. Spell-checking

 

��*�If you do not have ispell 3.1.20, install it from any Linux distribution
    CD.
   
��*�Download the package [http://bellinux.sourceforge.net/belspell.tar.gz]
    belspell.tar.gz. Unpack it and run
    buildhash belarusian.sml belarusian.aff belarusian.hash          
                                                                     
   
��*�Copy belarusian.hash to </usr/lib/ispell or wherever your ispell hash
    tables are.
   
��*�in order to spell-check a file, type
    ispell -d belarusian yourfile.txt                                
                                                                     
   

Getting belarusian ispell dictionary working with emacs is a bit tricky.

��*�Copy ispell.el and ispell.elc into your $EMACSBIN/../lisp directory.
   
��*�Copy temporarily $EMACSBIN/../lisp/loaddefs.el to /usr/src/emacs-XX.X/
    lisp/loaddefs.el where XX.X stand for emacs version number.
   
��*�M-x-update-file-autoloads-RET and enter the path to the ispell.el.
   
��*�Copy back loaddefs.el
   
��*�Restart emacs
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.3. TeX

from Aleksey Novodvorsky:

You need TeX + babel + T2, e.g. teTeX >= 1.0. in order to get partial support
for Belarusian,

��*�put babel.sty , belarusianb.ldf and belarusianb.sty into /usr/share/texmf
    /tex/generic/babel
   
��*�run texhash
   
��*�To use Belarusian in LaTeX: add the following lines in the preamble:
    \documentclass[belarusian]{article} \usepackage[cp1251]{inputenc} 
    \usepackage{babel}                                                
                                                                      
    or
    \documentclass[belarusian]{article} \usepackage[iso88595]{inputenc} 
    \usepackage{babel}                                                  
                                                                        
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Browsers

4.1. Netscape

It is often a problem to correctly visualize Belarusian-specific characters
with Netscape. This is due to that Netscape 4.x looks for any koi8-r font
and, if it finds one, they refuse to use other fonts for displaying Cyrillic
pages.

The problem is solved by removing koi8-r fonts from everywhere - X Window
System font path and font server path.Then install koi8-ru, iso-8859-5 or
windows-1251 and run
xset fp rehash                                                               
                                                                             
or restart X server. You will probably have to delete >preferences and
preferences.js from the Netscape home directory .netscape and even then you
are not guaranteed to have Netscape work right. Netscape's handling of fonts
has always been an obscure issue.

Links to koi8-ru, iso-8859-5 and windows-1251 cyrillic fonts for X Window
System can be found at [http://bellinux.sourceforge.net] the bellinux page
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.2. Lynx

In order to view Belarusian sites, you have to set up you console to handle
the encoding you need. See section Section 2.5 for more details.

Add the following lines to your .linxrc file.
character_set=Cyrillic (windows-1251) preferred_language=be                  
preferred_charset=windows-1251                                               
                                                                             
or
character_set=Cyrillic (ISO-8859-5) preferred_language=be                    
preferred_charset=iso-8859-5                                                 
                                                                             
if you have set up iso-8859-5 in console.

If the page you are browsing does not have an explicit charset declaration,
press o and set the document charset manually.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Mailers

5.1. Netscape Messenger

Netscape Messenger can not handle belarusian texts properly. The same applies
to Mozilla.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.2. Mutt

Mutt handles a multitude of charsets and encodings with ease. If your console
has windows-1251 support, add the following lines to your .muttrc:
 charset-hook "windows-1251" "cp1251" set charset="windows-1251"             
                                                                             

Mutt automatically converts all incoming messages for the screen output. It
can also convert outgoing messages basing itself on a versatile pattern
matching mechanism, e.g. the following line in .muttrc will force mutt to
convert all messages sent to be-locale@iatp.unibel.by to koi8-r.
send-hook '~t ^be-locale@iatp\.unibel\.by$' 'set                             
send_charset="koi8-r"'                                                       
                                                                             
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Further support

A mailing list devoted entirely to Belarusian language support is available
at [mailto:be-locale@iatp.unibel.by] be-locale@iatp.unibel.by. To subscribe,
send a message to [mailto:majordomo@iatp.unibel.by] majordomo@iatp.unibel.by
with the string "subscribe be-locale youremailaddress" in the body of the
message

Another mailing list that treats mostly linguistic issues is available at
[mailto:movaznaustva@egroups.com] movaznaustva@egroups.com. To subscribe to
it, send a message with empty body to [mailto:
movaznaustva-subscribe@egroups.com] movaznaustva-subscribe@egroups.com.





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