Arabic and character-cell terminals

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Fri Jun 04 1999 - 12:12:52 EDT

This question is related to Unicode, even though it might not seem to be.

Are there now, or have there ever been, character-cell terminals with
Arabic keyboards and that display Arabic text on the screen? And if so,
how are characters placed on the screen? --

 1. All the same width (monospace).

 2. Some normal (ASCII) width, others doublewidth (duospace).

 3. Variable spaced.

Of course most terminals are monospaced, but in Japan they are duospaced:
ASCII width for Romaji, Katakana, and Hiragana; doublewidth for Kanji.
As with Roman-alphabet terminals, the host application has a clear and
unambiguous idea of how characters will line up on the screen, since the
application and the terminal agree on the width conventions.

Is a similar scheme used for Arabic, and if so, is there common agreement
on which characters are single-width, and which ones are double?

This question relates to Unicode in the design or selection of a Unicode
font to be used in a multilingual terminal emulator.


- Frank

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