[Bidi] Automatic text direction

Behdad Esfahbod behdad at cs.toronto.edu
Thu Mar 10 17:13:30 PST 2005

Well, we can come up with a shared bidi configuration in our
spec, so different systems share bidi preferences of the user,
like you propose in ~/.bidi probably, or in a shared
configuration system if one shows up one day...


On Mon, 28 Feb 2005, Omer Zak wrote:

> I suggest that a standard be set for an "automatic text direction style
> sheet" rather than for "automatic text direction".  This is because
> people may have different expectations from an automatic text direction
> algorithm implementation, according to the language with which they work
> most of the time at the moment.
> The style sheet (or rather configuration file) will, by default, be in a
> standard location (say, /etc/bidi/autobidi, overridable by
> ~/.bidi/autobidi).
> The style sheet will specify, for each file type (identified by filename
> extension, MIME type, or file contents, according to standard Unix
> mechanisms).  For each relevant file type, some rules for setting
> automatic text direction will be defined.
> The case of *.xml files will be handled specifically - the automatic
> text direction rules will be associated with the scheme, which is
> associated with the *.xml file.
> Another special case is the text displayed in GUI controls of various
> types in various applications.  For this, we need a standard to identify
> application instance, application and control within application, to
> which the rules are applicable.
> About the format of the rules themselves:
> I suggest that some predicates be defined, according to the rules
> already proposed and implemented for automatic text direction.
> The predicates will be combined by means of Scheme code.
>                                                   --- Omer
> On Mon, 2005-02-28 at 11:54 +0200, Ely Levy wrote:
> > Hey,
> > 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?


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