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Re: Arabic text

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 01:42:27 +1100
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Doug McCrae <ddmccrae@yahoo.co.uk>
Message-Id: <37DE88CC-352A-11D7-9E72-000A95678F24@sidar.org>
If, perchance, you have a Macintosh, you can add an arabic keyboard 
option and use simpletext (OS 9) or TextEdit (OS X) or something 
similar. Amaya does allow for editing arabic but it isn't perfect yet.

Arabic is one of the major world languages, and people use computers to 
write it. You just need to get the right keyboard layouts, fonts, and 
internationalised software. If my mail client and yours are smart 
enough, the following should come out as arabic text:

السلام عليكم

(using OS X.2 I added arabic to the keyboards list in my preferences, 
switched to it in the bundled client "Mail", and typed).

Note to self: remember to switch back <grin/>.

Normally a good alt text would be whatever is shown in the image, and 
in accordance with checkpoint 3.1 you are only going to get to the 
"barely minimal" level A if you continue with the technique. If this is 
not something you expect to be used on the Web at large you might be 
able to sustain an argument for using a transliteration, but I think 
the best thing is to use proper text.

I have attached a sample of XHTML (in accordance with the W3C policy on 
sending attachments to lists) that I wrote up in TextEdit - it was an 
extremely easy thing to do. I presume this is not unique to Macintosh 
systems, but it is what I know best.


Charles McCN

On Friday, Jan 31, 2003, at 21:43 Australia/Melbourne, Doug McCrae 

> I'm working on accessibility for the Glasgow university adult 
> education department, aiming for double-A conformance. A couple of 
> pages - www.gla.ac.uk/adulteducation/courses/languages/arabic1.html 
> and www.gla.ac.uk/adulteducation/courses/languages/arabic2.html - 
> contain arabic writing, currently within a gif. I understand that this 
> should be changed to text, but I don't know how to represent arabic 
> characters.
> My limited reading of the subject so far suggests arabic might be 
> particularly difficult to textify, and that the end user would require 
> special software. Is this correct? If a text version is not possible, 
> what would be the appropriate alt?
Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Fundacin SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org

Received on Friday, 31 January 2003 09:42:46 UTC

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