Re: [xep-support] Right-to-Left Languages support

From: Nikolai Grigoriev (
Date: Fri Nov 01 2002 - 01:32:36 PST

Hi Mete,

> I just heard that XEP 3 is released and ready for
> sale. I couldn't consider using XEP 2 because it
> didn't handle right-to-left languages such as Arabic
> and Farsi. Does XEP 3 produce output of right-to-left
> languages? Is the "writing-mode" attribute or another
> to similar effect implemented in XEP 3?

XEP 3 supports right-to-left writing mode, and implements
direction change through fo:bidi-override element. It also
implements bidirectionality (though not yet a full Unicode bidi
algorithm). As far as glyph order is concerned, there should be
no problems with right-to-left writing systems.

However, using Arabic-based script systems in XEP (Arabic,
Farsi, Urdu etc) requires additional care. The problem is as follows:
we don't perform ligaturing and/or glyph shaping. Therefore,
all letters should be coded with their exact presentational variants
(isolated/initial/medial/final), and all ligatures should be
explicitly represented by respective Unicode codepoints.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Nikolai Grigoriev

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