Re: It is easy to predict the past.

From: John Hudson (
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 16:29:20 CDT

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    Gregg Reynolds wrote:

    > Nah. The question is which "ligatures" (I prefer "compound forms") are
    > required by Generally Accepted Principles of Arabic Writing. That would
    > be the lam-alif only; I don't see how one could get rid of it.

    Again, you need to be clear whether you are talking about a ligature in a strict technical
    sense, i.e. a single glyph representing more than one character, or in a looser sense of
    two letters that are written together in a special form. As I explained in my earlier
    message, demonstrated with VOLT lookup syntax, it is perfectly possible to render the
    lam_alif 'ligature' without using a ligature glyph. It will still look like the
    traditional and obligatory typeform, but it will not be a single glyph: it will be two
    special glyphs, contextually substituted and linked using either a cursive attachment
    anchor or simple kerning.

    This is what I mean when I say that Arabic can be typeset without using ligatures: I'm not
    talking about styles of disconnected Arabic, or Arabic without the obligatory lam_alif
    shaping. I'm talking about typesetting technologies for Arabic in which multiple
    characters are never rendered using a single glyph. I am using the term ligature in this
    strict technical sense.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Truth and tolerance, by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger as was
    An autobiography from the Jesuit underground, by William Weston SJ
    War (revised edition), by Gwynne Dyer

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