From: Dr. Fayez Alhargan <alhargan@kacst.edu.sa>

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 02:14:29 +0300

Message-Id: <4186C355.00003E.02072@VILLA11-213>

To: <www-math@w3.org>

Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2004 08:29:20 UTC

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 02:14:29 +0300

Message-Id: <4186C355.00003E.02072@VILLA11-213>

To: <www-math@w3.org>

With reference to: One area where MathML is lacking is a specification of how it should be used in right-to-left languages, particularly Arabic. This issue came up during the work on MathML 2.0, and resulted in the addition of section 3.1.5. This section says that the Unicode bidirectional algorithm should be followed for the text within token elements, but that MathML 2.0 doesn't address the general question of right-to-left layout. The reason for that was simply that, the Math Working Group was unable to find enough examples and/or experts in the time available to be confident an attempt to describe how MathML should work in right-to-left text would get it right. ....... To get things started, I invite anyone with expert knowledge of math in Arabic or other right-to-left languages to post a brief introductory message. Pointers to examples, articles, projects or other useful background information would be especially welcome. If you aren't yourself an expert, but know someone who is, please draw their attention to this discussion. http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-math/2004Oct/0028.html The major mistake designer of Arabic based algorithms make is the assumption that Arabic language is bidirectional, this is nonsense, and has made the handling of Arabic typesetting much more complicated. Arabic is the mirror image of English, the algorithm for typesetting Arabic is simply the same as that for English with Left-to-Right motion changed to Right-to-Left motion with no bidirectional motion. Many argue that numbers and some characters in Arabic are written Left-to-Right, this is completely wrong. My hope is this misconception is removed from the Unicode standard or at least the bidirectional motion made optional and the complete Right-to-Left motion became the standard default for Arabic. We are at KACST have developed a set of Arabic mathematical symbols in TrueType font, please see attached .pdf file. Note many of the symbols are mirror image of the symbols used in English. In conclusion as a general rule for Arabic use: 1- Right-to-Left with no bidirectional motion. 2- Mirror image the mathematical symbols. 3- Use the Greek letters as is. 4- Replace the Latin/Greek letters with Arabic letters of appropriate shape (e.g. bold, italics), an optional table can be designed to map the letters from English to Arabic. Regards Prof. Fayez Alhargan

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- application/pdf attachment: Kacstmathema.PDF

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