From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jul 12 2007 - 23:37:21 CDT
John Hudson wrote:
> Yes, recreating this document with current software and fonts would be a
> nightmare. But these things exist, and someday someone is going to want to
> produce an electronic edition for study.
Given that the authors of this document needed to use color to make the
distinction between hebrew points and the Arabic text, that was entered in a
separate flow, I fear this document can't qualify as being ever transcodable
into plain text (simply because color color distinctions are currently not
If you attempt to encode Arabic letters followed by combining Hebrew points
and marks, you are certain that this will fail, unless you define a complete
set of properties for Hebrew-like points for use especially in Arabic, i.e.
you are extending the Arabic script to include the Hebrew combining marks.
If you need some rich text format to do it, then this oddity is much less
unfeasible; we clearly have two separate flows, the Arabic one which does
not cause lots of problems by itself, plus the special positioning of the
When you say that Hebrew points were written first, I find it difficult to
realize without the help of a pre-existing reference Arabic text ; in which
case, the Hebrew points were still specially laid out according to Arabic,
not the reverse.
So the only question is how we would encode, in a rich text format, runs of
combining vowel points and marks (without any Hebrew base characters) if we
don't have an invisible base letter: may be we don't need it in a rich text
format, because it can handle the case of defective sequences, and in its
implementation making the presence of implicit space holders to avoid
treating it as defective.
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