Re: Display Persian characters under Linux

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Sat Jul 29 2000 - 15:23:43 EDT

Darya Said-Akbari wrote:

>> Hi,
>>this is my firts email to the Unicode email list. There is a lot I
>>want to learn from you all. So even if my questions are sometimes
>>stupid, nevertheless I like to read your answer on all issues.

The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask.

>>My goal turning my interest on Unicode is to get Persian letters on
>>my Monitor and into a database lets say in Oracle8i.
>>The operating system will be Linux. So, what I have done until now
>>is to buy the Unicode Standard 3.0. But that is not enough and
>>therefore I need your help.

The short answer is that Oracle supports Arabic script data entry
from files or keyboard, and you should check your manuals, on-line
resources at and Oracle user groups, and tech support (in
that order) for information on importing files and setting data input
modes. You should also check and the Linux user group sites
for information on font and keyboard mapping file availability and
installation procedures. For example, send the message

subscribe linux-utf8

to the e-mail address


to join a mailing list discussion entirely devoted to issues of
Unicode on Linux.

>>What steps do I have to do to get my dream real. Yes, I have
>>several character sets on my machine but they are all european one.
>>And honestly I am a little bit afraid to touch them,

Yes, leave them alone, since you need them for other purposes.

>>since I dont know the different between a character set and unicode.

UNIX systems have a font mapping file (name, please, somebody?)
containing character set information, including the mapping between
PostScript font names and UNIX font names. The UNIX names include the
standard ID for the covered character set. Most of what you have will
be identified as 8859-1, which is ASCII plus Latin-1. The current
Arabic script font standard (which covers Farsi) is ISO 8859-6. You
may see ECMA-114 or ASMO 449 mentioned in some places.

Yes, you need to find Farsi fonts encoded in either 8859-6 or
Unicode. Any search engine can find a number of sites for you.

>>Reading the first pages of the book, makes me more confuse. There
>>is something talken about rendering. It seems when I use the ARABIC
>>letters I have to concern on rendering.

Reading the Unicode Standard 3.0 through from the beginning is
definitely not recommended. Skip to page 189, where the description
of Arabic script rendering begins, and be sure to look at the code
chart and notes for U-0600-U-067F, Arabic, pp. 389-395. Also skim
through the Bidirectional Behavior section starting on p. 55. Bidi
only matters to you if your Farsi data is sometimes mixed with
material in other writing systems.

>>Is there anybody who can give me a quickstart to get rid of
>>confusing charsets, unicode, rendering etc.? I know I have to put
>>more time on this issue and I am prepared for this. But a little
>>success would really motivate me.

Yes. You can prepare test data files for convenient import into
Oracle in any Farsi-capable word processor or spreadsheet program
that reads and writes ISO-8859-6 and UTF-8. You don't have to wait
until you have the fonts and keyboard layouts installed on your Linux
system. You can also get Oracle to generate Farsi output files to be
viewed on a different system.

>>best regards
>>Darya Said-Akbari


Edward Cherlin Generalist "A knot!" exclaimed Alice. "Oh, do let me help to undo it." Alice in Wonderland

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