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Hebrew Computing

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Hebrew Computing

Postby Flaminius » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:53 am

Ok ok, this could be a Spelling or Languages of the World topic. I just thought this involves more computer science than the two.

1. Which side of the window does the scroll bar typically appear in Hebrew environments; right side or left side? Internet Explorer allows users to choose either but which is more naturally for Hebrew, or for that matter Arabic, speakers?

2. I realise my tagline appears quite odd in Mac broweser/computer.
It looks like this from Safari browser:
asdf ,asdfasdf.
asdf()

whereas it is supposed to be:
.asdf ,asdfasdf
(asdf)

How does this happen? Or more generally, how Hebrew computing (html pages, for example) manages modern Israeli text, which can include both Hebrew and Latin alphabets? Mixing the two means switching the input directions in one line. It must be quite a electronic feat.

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Postby Garzo » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:30 pm

I can't remember the word for it, but I think Unicode uses a feature whereby ltr or rtl text is a feature of the language-script block that is being used, and all signs are entered in the order they are read regardless of direction. However, saying that, computer environments are still very heavily Latin-alphabet and (US-)English-language based.
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Postby tcward » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:45 pm

Yes, generally speaking, the left-to-right or right-to-left orientation of text is determined by the language support in the OS, rather than the application. Microsoft Word does allow individual paragraphs to be treated independently (of the general OS setting). However, as I mentioned in another thread, the user evidently will not have this option unless multiple languages are specified that have differing text orientations at the OS level.

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Postby Garzo » Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:22 am

MSWord is horrible if you try editing text in both directions: the cursor leaps around all over the place, and pasted text always comes ltr even if the cut/copy was in rtl.
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Postby anders » Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:31 pm

Yes, it's about time that MS introduce something like the WordPerfect code viewing, so that it will be possible to cut the text only and paste it well inside the direction codes (if that's how it works).
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