Re: Multiple Directions (was: Re: Coptic/Greek (Re: Phoenician))

From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Mon May 17 2004 - 05:14:45 CDT

  • Next message: Jon Hanna: "Re: Multiple Directions (was: Re: Coptic/Greek (Re: Phoenician))"

    On Sat, 15 May 2004 14:14:50 -0400, fantasai wrote:
    > That's a hack, not a solution.

    There's a fine line between "hack" and "solution", and I'm not sure which side
    of the line my proposed technique falls.

    > Again, if you take the text out of the
    > presentational context you've warped it into, it doesn't make any sense.

    To my way of thinking, if a text (such as an Ogham inscription) was originally
    written vertically bottom to top, it makes just as much sense to render and read
    it RTL as it does to render and read it LTR .

    > The text shouldn't depend on the font or text orientation switches being
    > exactly right.

    And yet forced RTL Ogham text rendered horizontally with an ordinary Ogham font
    would be no more illegible than plain Unicode Mongolian or Arabic displayed on a
    system that only supports LTR with fonts that only display the fixed code chart
    glyphs. Correct rendering of any complex script does depend on the correct
    combination of fonts, rendering system and control codes; and you can't expect
    all Unicode text to be displayed correctly irrespectiveof the sophistication of
    your rendering system and fonts.

    > Unicode directionality shouldn't be used as a presentational property;
    > that's the problem CSS3 Text has right now.

    So, would your "solution" to embedding Ogham in vertical Mongolian be a
    higher-level protocol, such as

    <top-to-bottom>some Mongolian text <bottom-to-top>some Ogham
    text</bottom-to-top> some more Mongolian text</top-to-bottom>

    Great if it works, and probably superior to my "hack", but I still don't see
    that there's anything intrinsically wrong with using directional control codes
    to format plain text.


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