Re: Arabic encoding model (alas, static!)

From: Richard Wordingham (
Date: Wed Jul 06 2005 - 21:57:26 CDT

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    Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    > The situation for diacritical extension of basic Arabic letters
    > is a complex one involving decades of existing encoding practice
    > at this point, long preceding the development of Unicode. It also
    > involves complex issues of stabilization of of data under
    > normalization, as well as model issues for the implementation of
    > rendering.

    An explanation of why the scheme wouldn't work is, I'm sure, what Ashraf is
    looking for. If rendering presented insuperable practical issues, rather
    than theoretical issues, that would be an adequate reason for abandoning the
    idea. The scheme is being put forward not for theoretical tidiness, but as
    a way of having large numbers of characters immediately available. If they
    can't be rendered, the scheme is a non-starter.

    The Latin alphabet precedent is not promising - diacritics combine badly in
    many fonts. There is a technical note on how to display them
    (, but it didn't seem to me that it could
    be implemented in OpenType other than possibly by massive tables. I may be
    wrong, but it looks as though it may be extremely laborious to position
    Hebrew holam properly on all Latin consonants.

    On a related issue (RTL support) - when should we expect Uniscribe or its
    successor to support Phoenician (due in Unicode 5.0)? Should I expect to
    have to upgrade from Windows XP? (I appreciate that the simplest solution
    may well be to encode as Hebrew and style as Phoenician via a font.)


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