[Bidi] Automatic text direction

Nadim Shaikli shaikli at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 28 07:54:57 PST 2005

--- Ely Levy <elylevy at cs.huji.ac.il> wrote:
> I think we should create a standard for automatic text direction.
> There are few issues on how to detect the text direction (RTL or LTR)
> for example numbers should not be the setter of direction, the ability
> to manual override, split text ( for example gaim nick in english line is
> in hebrew or arabic what should be the text direction?should it be splited
> nick from one side text from the other? should it ignore the nick and
> detect it by the text?)
> What about html text?how do we ignore tags as direction setters?
> the big question, can a good autodetect actually be done? or should we
> give up on it and do maunal setting only?

Are you also thinking of addressing the command-line in terminal emulators
that have Bidi support.  I'm talking about the case where one wants to do

  grep "ARABIC-3 ARABIC-2 ARABIC-1" filename

note here that bidi needs to kick-in for proper display (the numbers above
denote word entry count) as well as


and in this case bidi was not supposed to have been engaged since order
does matter to convey proper context.

NOTE: All caps are non-latin bidi-required characters.

It would be ideal to find a mechanism that would not involve the use of
directional markers (ie. to add-in the proper smarts needed in bash for
it to denote proper context - when within quotes apply bidi else don't
among other things -- well maybe not bash per se, but a library call is
needed for automatic direction setting).

 - Nadim

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