[dev-context] Re: BiDi in ConTeXt

Idris Samawi Hamid ishamid at colostate.edu
Thu Nov 11 22:37:58 CET 2004


[Please forward to dev-context at ntg.nl]

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 14:53:25 +0000, Adam Lindsay <atl at comp.lancs.ac.uk> 
wrote:

> Hi folks.

Hi Adam, & thnx for cc'ing me.

> I just started thinking about further language support within ConTeXt now
> that the XeTeX-ConTeXt "basics" are done. XeTeX doesn't have the same
> character/line directionality control that is apparently in Omega, but it
> does control Right/Left typesetting fairly well.

I've been out of the loop on all things TeX for a while now (demands of my 
profession and other matters). I have a couple of general questions:

1. What exactly is the aim and purpose of XeTeX?

2. Since its apparently based on eTeX, and since bidi seems to be of 
interest, why not integrate it with the Aleph project, also eTeX-based 
(with an eye towards ConTeXt), and which already has the bidi stuff 
implemented rather well?

> In particular, it makes a fairly big deal of its implementation of the
> eTeX beginR/beginL extensions. They seem to work fairly well in demos
> I've seen and simplistic tests I've done.
>
> I was wondering about the bigger issues in terms of BiDi support, though.
> Do people want an interface that mimics Omega's \pardir command? Or is
> there a more simple/focussed/specific way?

If the idea is a kind of BiDi-Light (just paragraph and text), then 
implementing a subset of Aleph's functionality (such as \pardir and 
textdir) seems like a good way to go.

> (I imagine I don't see a single \beginR in ConTeXt's source code because
> it relies heavily on proper font support, probably beyond what the TFM
> system usually offers.)

which is where we will need Aleph and Bidi-Full

> Also, is dev-context the right place for a discussion like this?

Please also cc the Aleph list (and forward this thread) because others 
there may find your project interesting or useful. If things get off-topic 
ConTeXt-wise then the Aleph list would be a good place to continue.

Is Giuseppe aware of all of this (I assume he's on dev-context)?

Best
Idris

-- 
Professor Idris Samawi Hamid
Department of Philosophy
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523


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