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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

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  • Tony Khoshaba
    If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would it be? Tony ... If I were you, I d have a serious hard look at arabic.c and arabic.h in
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 17, 2006
      If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would it be?

      Tony

      "A.J.Mechelynck" <antoine.mechelynck@...> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
      > Hi,
      > I am interested in adding support for Syriac in Vim. Syriac is similar to Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi. It is right-to-left and has its own shaping rules.
      >
      > Where do I start? I will appreciate your help.
      >
      > Thanks
      > Tony Khoshaba
      >

      If I were you, I'd have a serious hard look at arabic.c and arabic.h in
      the src/ subdirectory of wherever you downloaded (or will have
      downloaded) the Vim source. IIUC, the rules for Syriac should be similar
      to those for Arabic, except that the Unicode blocks for isolated glyphs
      and for presentation forms (i.e., initial, medial, final and possibly
      digraph or multicharacter forms if any) would be different, and that any
      "national ISO-8859-n encoding" would also be different.


      Bset regards,
      Tony.
    • A.J.Mechelynck
      ... 1. Look how the Arabic module does it. 2. Look how the Arabic module is hooked into the main loop. 3. Look in http://www.unicode.org/charts/ how Arabic and
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 17, 2006
        Tony Khoshaba wrote:
        > If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would
        > it be?

        1. Look how the Arabic module does it.
        2. Look how the Arabic module is hooked into the main loop.
        3. Look in http://www.unicode.org/charts/ how Arabic and Syriac Unicode
        blocks (including presentation forms) differ.
        4. Take into account any idiosyncrasies of either language (such as the
        fact that Arabic laam+alif is a mandatory digraph).
        5. Either you can do it, or you can't. If you can, write it. If you
        can't, leave it, but (if possible) upload your notes on the Web. Maybe
        someone else will pick it up where you left.



        Best regards,
        Tony.
      • Tony Khoshaba
        I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of things to do. I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit box
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 17, 2006
          I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of things to do.
          I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit box and used a TTF font for it. That was before Microsoft added Syriac rendering engine to professional XP. But most people do not have access to professional XP.

          To adopt my Syriac TTF fonts for such project what should I do? Sorry for asking basic questions but my knowledge in this area has become rusty and I need to come to speed.

          Tony

          "A.J.Mechelynck" <antoine.mechelynck@...> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
          > If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would
          > it be?

          1. Look how the Arabic module does it.
          2. Look how the Arabic module is hooked into the main loop.
          3. Look in http://www.unicode.org/charts/ how Arabic and Syriac Unicode
          blocks (including presentation forms) differ.
          4. Take into account any idiosyncrasies of either language (such as the
          fact that Arabic laam+alif is a mandatory digraph).
          5. Either you can do it, or you can't. If you can, write it. If you
          can't, leave it, but (if possible) upload your notes on the Web. Maybe
          someone else will pick it up where you left.



          Best regards,
          Tony.
        • A.J.Mechelynck
          ... If your Syriac TTF fonts include all the necessary glyphs, they shouldn t be the problem; they should work out of the box once the support for the Syriac
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 17, 2006
            Tony Khoshaba wrote:
            >
            > I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of
            > things to do.
            > I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit
            > box and used a TTF font for it. That was before Microsoft added Syriac
            > rendering engine to professional XP. But most people do not have access
            > to professional XP.
            >
            > To adopt my Syriac TTF fonts for such project what should I do? Sorry
            > for asking basic questions but my knowledge in this area has become
            > rusty and I need to come to speed.
            >
            > Tony


            If your Syriac TTF fonts include all the necessary glyphs, they
            shouldn't be the problem; they should work "out of the box" once the
            support for the Syriac alphabet will have been built into the C source
            of Vim, just by setting 'guifont', 'rightleft', etc. to proper settings.
            The problem is to have Vim display the proper contextual forms in the
            proper contexts, like it does for Arabic, and that requires a C module
            which should IMHO be very similar to the Arabic one.


            Best regards,
            Tony.
          • Tony Khoshaba
            If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my impression was that
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 18, 2006
              If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my impression was that there is more into font design than just using a TTF font out of the box. Anyway nut I thing I have enough material to work with.

              So if I start with Windows version of Vim, can I build it straight forwardly using Microsoft VC++ tools?

              Tony


              "A.J.Mechelynck" <antoine.mechelynck@...> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
              >
              > I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of
              > things to do.
              > I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit
              > box and used a TTF font for it. That was before Microsoft added Syriac
              > rendering engine to professional XP. But most people do not have access
              > to professional XP.
              >
              > To adopt my Syriac TTF fonts for such project what should I do? Sorry
              > for asking basic questions but my knowledge in this area has become
              > rusty and I need to come to speed.
              >
              > Tony


              If your Syriac TTF fonts include all the necessary glyphs, they
              shouldn't be the problem; they should work "out of the box" once the
              support for the Syriac alphabet will have been built into the C source
              of Vim, just by setting 'guifont', 'rightleft', etc. to proper settings.
              The problem is to have Vim display the proper contextual forms in the
              proper contexts, like it does for Arabic, and that requires a C module
              which should IMHO be very similar to the Arabic one.


              Best regards,
              Tony.
            • A.J.Mechelynck
              ... Adding Arabic to Vim required no change in the existing fonts: once I had a gvim with +arabic, I could edit Arabic text, even vocalised Arabic, using the
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 18, 2006
                Tony Khoshaba wrote:
                > If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would
                > mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my
                > impression was that there is more into font design than just using a TTF
                > font out of the box. Anyway nut I thing I have enough material to work
                > with.
                >
                > So if I start with Windows version of Vim, can I build it straight
                > forwardly using Microsoft VC++ tools?

                Adding Arabic to Vim required no change in the existing fonts: once I
                had a gvim with +arabic, I could edit Arabic text, even vocalised
                Arabic, using the Courier_New font that came with Windows; but Syriac is
                a "rarer" language than Arabic, you may have to make sure that you have
                a fixed-width font with Syriac glyphs. Start with Courier_New and use
                ":set guifont=*" if that doesn't work. After using ":set guifont=*" I
                recommend to use ":set guifont=<Tab>" to replace the :c part of the font
                by :cDEFAULT as in (for example) ":set guifont=Courier_New:h12:cDEFAULT"
                -- with that setting I've been able to see Latin, Russian and Arabic
                text in a single file (of course, seeing the Arabic text "properly"
                required toggling the text direction with ":setlocal invrightleft").

                You should be able to edit the Vim C source with Vim itself, then build
                it with any set of make, C/C++ compiler and linker that can work
                together. I have used Borland BCC32 and Cygwin gcc, but yes, MSVC has
                also been used. In that case, the makefile to use is src/Make_mvc.mak .
                You may want to set some configuration settings by means of environment
                variables before running make, but I'm not sure of the details -- MSVC
                is one compiler I haven't used. You may want to look at the comments in
                the Make_mvc.mak and/or at how I have built Vim for Windows using BCC
                and (later) gcc, see
                http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/vim/compile.htm .

                Once you have a working patch for Vim, don't forget to submit it to Bram
                for inclusion into the "official" source. ;-)


                Best regards,
                Tony.
              • Tony Khoshaba
                Great info thank you. I was playing with Courier_New as well. I was wondering what proper tool I can use to just add Syriac to Courier_New and name it
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 18, 2006
                  Great info thank you. I was playing with Courier_New as well. I was wondering what proper tool I can use to just add Syriac to Courier_New and name it something else so the same way Syriac would be supported along with other languages using the same font.

                  Tony

                  "A.J.Mechelynck" <antoine.mechelynck@...> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
                  > If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would
                  > mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my
                  > impression was that there is more into font design than just using a TTF
                  > font out of the box. Anyway nut I thing I have enough material to work
                  > with.
                  >
                  > So if I start with Windows version of Vim, can I build it straight
                  > forwardly using Microsoft VC++ tools?

                  Adding Arabic to Vim required no change in the existing fonts: once I
                  had a gvim with +arabic, I could edit Arabic text, even vocalised
                  Arabic, using the Courier_New font that came with Windows; but Syriac is
                  a "rarer" language than Arabic, you may have to make sure that you have
                  a fixed-width font with Syriac glyphs. Start with Courier_New and use
                  ":set guifont=*" if that doesn't work. After using ":set guifont=*" I
                  recommend to use ":set guifont=" to replace the :c part of the font
                  by :cDEFAULT as in (for example) ":set guifont=Courier_New:h12:cDEFAULT"
                  -- with that setting I've been able to see Latin, Russian and Arabic
                  text in a single file (of course, seeing the Arabic text "properly"
                  required toggling the text direction with ":setlocal invrightleft").

                  You should be able to edit the Vim C source with Vim itself, then build
                  it with any set of make, C/C++ compiler and linker that can work
                  together. I have used Borland BCC32 and Cygwin gcc, but yes, MSVC has
                  also been used. In that case, the makefile to use is src/Make_mvc.mak .
                  You may want to set some configuration settings by means of environment
                  variables before running make, but I'm not sure of the details -- MSVC
                  is one compiler I haven't used. You may want to look at the comments in
                  the Make_mvc.mak and/or at how I have built Vim for Windows using BCC
                  and (later) gcc, see
                  http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/vim/compile.htm .

                  Once you have a working patch for Vim, don't forget to submit it to Bram
                  for inclusion into the "official" source. ;-)


                  Best regards,
                  Tony.
                • A.J.Mechelynck
                  ... I don t know how to edit fonts; if you do it, make sure that all your Courier_New glyphs (including the existing Latin glyphs) have exactly the same
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 18, 2006
                    Tony Khoshaba wrote:
                    > Great info thank you. I was playing with Courier_New as well. I was
                    > wondering what proper tool I can use to just add Syriac to Courier_New
                    > and name it something else so the same way Syriac would be supported
                    > along with other languages using the same font.

                    I don't know how to edit fonts; if you do it, make sure that all your
                    Courier_New glyphs (including the existing Latin glyphs) have exactly
                    the same dimensions: height, width, and height of the top and bottom of
                    a letter like lowercase x relative to the character cell. Anyway, I
                    don't know of any fixed-width font covering the full Unicode range: when
                    editing my front page
                    http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/index.htm , which has not only
                    Latin but also Cyrillic (Russian) and East-Asian (Chinese and Japanese)
                    text, I have to change the 'guifont' depending on which part I'm editing.

                    If your Courier_New font hasn't got (even with :cDEFAULT) the Syriac
                    glyphs you need, well, try to find a fixed-with font with a different
                    name, providing the Syriac glyphs, and also if possible the basic Latin
                    glyphs. Or you might want to check if there is a language pack that
                    includes Syriac on the Windows Update site: installing that might be
                    enough to add the required glyphs to Courier_New (and also to common
                    "proportional" fonts like Arial or Times New Roman: Vim cannot use them,
                    but if you create HTML pages in Syriac you can load them in your
                    favourite browser to check that they display OK).


                    Best regards,
                    Tony.
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