| The ligatures, especially the Arabic ligatures, were encoded
| "for compatibility". That is a polite way of saying they were
| needed to meet some requirement to get the standard approved,
| or were needed for backwards compatibility to some existing
| encoding implementation which had a different model of text
| representation. In the case of the Arabic ligatures, the
| motivation was entirely for standards approval, because there
| was no existing implementation.
What was the specific requirement? I think the Arabic section
is a mess and I can only imagine that it is the union of several
fonts. Is that so? what were the fonts?
| As the Unicode Standard clearly states, the preferred encoding
| of Arabic does not use the encoded Arabic ligatures from
| U+FB50..U+FDFF--and in fact their inclusion in the standard has
| only made full support of Arabic more complicated, rather than
And beyond that there are full words and a symbol for "place
of prayer" that I've never seen anywhere (rather like the
"hot springs" symbol; perhaps drawn from some guidebook?).
Terry Allen Fujitsu Software Corp. email@example.com
"In going on with these experiments, how many pretty systems do we build,
which we soon find outselves obliged to destroy?" - Benjamin Franklin
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