RE: Bidi reordering of soft hyphen

From: Jonathan Rosenne <>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2014 07:25:26 +0300

I don't think it matters very much what would the software do were there to be a soft hyphen in the text, firstly because it is not very likely for a soft hyphen to have been in the text intentionally and secondly because the software would more likely that not have been developed in a cultural environment that cares about soft hyphens.

Best Regards,

Jonathan Rosenne

-----Original Message-----
From: Asmus Freytag []
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 2:39 AM
To: Jonathan Rosenne;
Subject: Re: Bidi reordering of soft hyphen

On 4/1/2014 4:12 PM, Jonathan Rosenne wrote:
> The use of soft hyphen is a cultural matter. In Hebrew, Classic and
> Israeli, soft hyphens are not used.
More to the point, how does software render a soft hyphen included in inserted LTR text, when the outer text is Hebrew? Would it always be ignored? Would it be rendered? How?

Mind you, I don't think that the bidi algorithm as such needs to care about these details, but the Unicode Standard does mumble about different conventions. Might be useful to add some examples to such mumbling.

> Best Regards,
> Jonathan Rosenne
> 054-4246522
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Unicode [] On Behalf Of Simon
> Montagu
> Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 1:41 AM
> To: Roozbeh Pournader; Ken Whistler, (
> Cc: Behdad Esfahbod;; James Clark
> Subject: Re: Bidi reordering of soft hyphen
> On 04/02/2014 12:00 AM, Roozbeh Pournader wrote:
>> Adding Behdad for his insight on the rendering stack.
>> But as for user requirements and expectations, the first option, with
>> the hyphen on the right side of "car" as "car-" is what a good
>> publisher would want to print in his magazine or book. The second
>> option is harder to decipher for an RTL reader.
> I agree with Roozbeh here. Since the hyphen marks a break in the
> middle of the word, I think the most natural user expectation is that
> it should appear after the last character in the word, where "after" and "last"
> both refer to the reading direction of the word.
> I have seen examples of this in published Hebrew books, and this is
> also the way it's rendered in Chrome, Firefox and Opera (but in the
> case of Firefox, since I wrote the code for it I can testify that it
> isn't this way by
> design: as far as I remember I only took into account the direction of
> the text run containing the soft hyphen and didn't even think about
> the opposite-direction case).
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Received on Tue Apr 01 2014 - 23:26:52 CDT

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