Authentic Arabic

Thomas Milo - DecoType

Intended Audience: Manager, Software Engineer, Systems Analyst, Marketer
Session Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

The first part of this tutorial has the subtitle "Backgrounds". This part deals with relevant historical information about the development of script in general and the alphabet in particular. It is fascinating to realize that the alphabet as we take it for granted as the starting point of all script technology, in fact is the outcome of a thousands of years long process of cultural erosion, not to say utter devastation. I shall attempt to give some vivid evidence of this claim.

The second part, with the subtitle "Aesthetic and technical challenges" dwells on the problems and solutions relative to representating Arabic. I also plan to expand with a more precise account of the excellent Middle Eastern typographic technologies and why they vanished during the first half of this - still - century.

Together they will serve as a case study of cross-cultural technology.

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28 October 1999, Webmaster