[HarfBuzz] Some general Arabic script questions

Mikael Hedlund mikael.hedlund at mecel.se
Thu Dec 9 05:43:54 PST 2010


I am implementing basic support for Arabic script, and since I don't read, 
write or speak Arabic, I have
some general questions where I would be grateful for some confirmation if 
I am on the right track.

The handling and rendering of Arabic script will be pretty basic, and the 
plan is to support only the 28 basic
characters including their positional forms, plus the ligature lam + alef, 
and also the Arabic-Indic numerals.
1) Is that acceptable as a (minumum) basic Arabic support or is there 
something else I must support?

1b) Must/should I support the ligature lam + alef? (I have seen 
indications that it is compulsory in some aspect)
1c) Is there any other ligature that must or should be supported? (I have 
not seen any indications of that, but just to make sure...)

2) As I understand, it's not common to do a line-brek within a word, as it 
is in most European scripts. 
   But if I still must wrap within a word, is the following approach 
reasonable or should it be done in some other way?
   I was suggested to do like this, but the guy who suggested it was not 
100% sure if this was the definitive way to do it.
   1) If possible, do a wrap after a letter that is not joining / 
connecting to the subsequent letter
   2) If all letters in the word are letter are joined, wrap between two 
arbitrary joining letters but keep the positional form of
       those letters that are broken apart (i.e. don't change the first 
letter to its final form an the subsequent letter its initial form)

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