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merge emacs-bidi into the main tree (fwd)

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  • Behnam Esfahbod
    -- Behnam Esfahbod ......[ http://esfahbod.info | behnam(a)esfahbod.info ] ... Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 16:54:42 +0200 From: Alex Schroeder
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2003
      Behnam Esfahbod ......[ http://esfahbod.info | behnam(a)esfahbod.info ]

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 16:54:42 +0200
      From: Alex Schroeder <alex@...>
      Reply-To: Development Discussions <developer@...>
      To: emacs-devel@...
      Cc: emacs-bidi@..., developer@...
      Subject: merge emacs-bidi into the main tree

      Some people have been waiting for a long time for a bidi-enabled Emacs
      -- at least I have been waiting for more than a year. The strange
      thing is that we have a working implementation: emacs-bidi is
      available from www.m17n.org, and has been since Emacs 20.3 or earlier.

      There are a few imperfections, or so I hear, but when I -- as a
      non-Arabic-speaker -- saw the Arabic glyphs rendered correctly on IRC
      (using ERC, the Emacs IRC client) -- I was surprised! Yes, there may
      be problems with the existing solution, but at least there *is* a

      I would therefore like to see the existing emacs-bidi implementation
      merged with our CVS version.

      Back at in the days when Gerd was maintainer, I heard he had issues
      with the emacs-bidi implementation and didn't want to use it. Perhaps
      performance was bad. Perhaps he thought changes to the redisplay code
      would be necessary, and he felt that these changes had to wait.
      Perhaps you could not turn bidi off at the time.

      Well, for somebody like me who just wants to learn Arabic, copy Arabic
      song titles from old tapes onto his website, or read the occasional
      Arabic greeting on IRC, the current solution is good enough. And I
      don't feel we should wait any longer. We have waited long enough.

      If the reasons for rejecting the current emacs-bidi are still valid,
      let's list them and discuss them again. In the mean time a few people
      like Jan D and Kim Storm have had quite some exposure to the redisplay
      code, so perhaps we do have the necessary know-how now to fix the
      remaining issues. That would be wonderful. Eli has already done
      some work in this area, so if prefered, people could start asking him
      for some directions.

      If the reasons for rejecting the current emacs-bidi are weak,
      however, I think we should weight them against the long time we've
      been waiting.

      And last but not least, consider what I found here

      About: VIM-6 already has a number of the required Arabization
      features developed (unicode support, a hack to support
      right-to-left (RTL) write ability, etc). What is lacking is
      shaping code as well as a firm font/keymap definition.

      Status: Completed


      * The various common keyboard used out there (Arabic has 5
      keyboard mappings :-)

      * Shaping code ought to be modularized so that we could
      potentially release it stand-alone to other projects for
      inclusion - thoughts?

      * Bidi support is not really included (rightleft is not Bidi),
      what to do about this (long term question - not a show-stopper)?

      * Any thoughts from Bram about non-fixed width fonts?

      See what I mean? The people from arabeyes.org ("The Arabic Unix
      Project") don't consider imperfect right-to-left implementation and
      lacking shaping code to be a show-stopper. Why should we?

      If you are new to bidi issues, take a look at
      for an introduction.

      I was on holidays from 2003-07-01 to 2003-07-29
      and have a lot of catching up to do.

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