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Re: MathML in Arabic

From: Azzeddine LAZREK <lazrek@ucam.ac.ma>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 17:36:10 -0000
Message-ID: <000001c50c3a$0ef80960$40a0a8c0@LAFSSM>
To: <www-math@w3.org>

Nice to see this initiative.
First I would like to give some general remarks about Mathematics in an Arabic handbook. 
In some contexts, mathematical expressions in Arabic handbooks are written exactly as if they were in a Latin based script language. In other contexts, these expressions are composed with specific symbols and flow from right to left according to the Arabic writing. 
Symbols, like natural language characters, show a dynamic curvilinear cursivity. Such writing can be observed in other Arabic alphabet based languages such as Persian. We can find also the Latin presentation in some Arabic countries especially in some high level handbooks.
Arabic mathematical expressions present several differences compared to their Latin equivalents. Semantically speaking, a mathematical expression written in Arabic is exactly the same that a Latin based script equivalent expression. Good automatic translators can be built (e.g, RyDArab). Thus, only display problems are to be taken into account. 
We tried to extend MathML for the general purposes of Arabic mathematical documents typesetting (Cf. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/doc/communic/tugmathm.pdf
). In order to point out the difficulties and limitations that can obstruct the use of MathML in Arabic we used Mozilla. The experimental extended Mozilla is called Dadzilla (see 
Chronologically, for the same purposes, before, we had had developed the following tools:
- RamzArab, a font of Arabic mathematical symbols respecting Naskh style in OpenType;
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/doc/unicode/ramzarab.ttf

- Dadzilla, an adaptation of Mozilla for Arabic mathematical expressions;
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/system/dadzilla/examples.png

- DadTeX, an interface for typesetting Arabic mathematical document (in Arabic directly);
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/doc/present/dadtex.pdf

- CurExt, a system for variable-sized curvilinear symbols such as parentheses and Kashida;
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/system/curext/curext1_3/examla.pdf

- RyDArab, a typesetting system for Arabic mathematical expressions (via transliteration);
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/system/rydarab/rydarab1_5/amexamla.pdf

- ACM, an adaptation of Knuth's Computer Modern font family for Arabic mathematical symbols;
- NasX, a font of Arabic alphabetical symbols in METAFONT;
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/system/nasx/nasx1_3/readmenx.pdf

- AntiSym, a font of antique symbols in METAFONT.
ex. http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab/system/antisym/antisym1_2/readmeas.pdf

Best regards,
Pr. Azzeddine LAZREK
The project is undertaken in the "E-document scientific multilingual processing" Team
E-mail: lazrek@ucam.ac.ma
URL: http://www.ucam.ac.ma/fssm/rydarab
Received on Sunday, 6 February 2005 10:53:34 UTC

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