Re: Etruscan

From: Martin J. Dürst (
Date: Mon Nov 03 1997 - 03:59:21 EST

On Sun, 2 Nov 1997, Michael Everson wrote:

> The proposal gives Etruscan inherent right-to-left directionality and says
> that directionality overrides can be used to reverse this.
> I don't remember a discussion resolving this. Is this what we want? Or do
> we want the reverse? John Jenkins' proposals have shown the code table with
> R-L glyphs; mine have shown the code table with L-R glyphs.

I think you don't want to use overriding to reverse things. What you
want is a mechanism at a higher level (e.g. styles). Setting a text
in left-to-right direction that runs over several lines with overrides
is not absolutely impossible, but extremely tedious; every character
has to be enclosed in an LRO-PDF pair. So for the directionality,
it will be so that the inherent directionality can be used in plain
text, the other one probably shouln't be used in plain text, but
only formatted. Bustrophedon can only be achieved with styles, not
with BIDI controls.

I'll be at the W3C HTML/CSS WG meetings, and have a close look at
these things.

For Etruscan as well as Hieroglyphs,..., the situation is almost the
same. RTL is more frequent in the ancient texts, LTR seems more
popular for mixed scholarly texts. It would be very nice if:

- This and similar cases could be solved in the same way
- The fact that BIDI implementations will have difficulties to be
        updated with new character properties when new characters
        are added (this would in essence be a strong suggestion that
        everything except U+0580-U+7FF is LTR) would get consideration

Regards, Martin.

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