Re: Digraphs as Distinct Logical Units

From: Philipp Reichmuth (
Date: Thu Aug 08 2002 - 14:10:30 EDT

Hello Michael,

ME> Both Pakistan and a few years ago the Maldives indicated that they
ME> have a genuine need to use this "ligature" with considerable
ME> frequency in official documents of various kinds. It's not expected
ME> that every user type in the whole phrase letter by letter nor that
ME> ordinary Arabic fonts would support it in formatting the thing as it
ME> is expected to appear. They have a genuine need to use this as a
ME> single entity, not decomposed to its consituent parts, and it seemed
ME> prudent to WG2 and to the UTC to encode it.

It's still not clear to me at all why either typing the basmala (22
keystrokes), pasting it in (2 keystrokes), using document templates or
using a graphic are insufficient solutions. I'd be really curious to
see the application of the Arabic script that depends on having a
basmala *character* for *processing* of any kind.

Do you have any pointer to a statement from Pakistan or the Maldives
explaining just *why* they need this? Is it in any legacy character
sets, like the FDF0..FDFB block?

I've had *so* many frustrating discussions with former users of Arabic
typewriters who insisted that they need to manually key in all the
pretty presentation forms from the A and B blocks or who complained to
me about how insufficient Unicode was in not including support for the
four Persian letters in these glyph blocks - especially when people
insisted that they wanted to be able to use FDF2, FDF4 or FDFA because
of their pretty appearance in the Unicode code charts - that the
prospect of having the basmala in there doesn't look very bright :-)

There is a chasm / of carbon and silicon / the software can't bridge

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