Re: [css-text] Arabic letters connecting between elements with display: inline

I support Asmus suggestion below to prevent breaking of shaping runs with
font or style break , as the example of Lam-Alef ligature is a true example
how introducing this font break in the middle of shaped characters could
cause unacceptable results.

Thanks And Best regards,
Mohamed Mohie , PMP®
Manager of Arabic Competence and Globalization Center (ACGC)
GCoC Bidi Champion, Project Manager, M.Sc.
Cairo Technology Development Center (CTDC)
IBM Egypt
email :

From:	Asmus Freytag <>
To:	Behdad Esfahbod <>, Matitiahu Allouche
            <>, "'fantasai'"
Cc:	"'WWW International'" <>,
Date:	26/05/2014 11:22 ć
Subject:	Re: [css-text] Arabic letters connecting between elements with
            display:  inline

On 5/26/2014 12:51 PM, Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
> On 14-05-22 06:06 PM, Asmus Freytag wrote:
>> On 5/22/2014 2:43 PM, Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
>>> On 14-05-22 05:24 PM, Asmus Freytag wrote:
>>>> What software support joining (other than color) today?
>>> Android platform (not the browser), and GNOME desktop both do.
>> Can you share a screen shot?
> Here are the slides of my 2004 Unicode Conference talk.  See page 16 for
>    * In the slides, I've used color to highlight letters, while
preserving shaping:

>    * In the print version, I've used bold font to do the same:

> Surely not the most typographically correct way to do it.  But anything
> than preserving joining would have been just wrong.

A couple of comments:

Looking at your example, the version with bold fails miserably. The text
of the presentation is in English, making clear your intent of
communicating with people that are not native users of the script. The
color distinction is readily grasped, but the weight distinction is not
apparent, to the untrained eye the weight contrast disappears entirely.
Unlike typical examples in Latin, the type color is not noticeably
darker. In fact, I had to look at the colored example to locate the
breaks so I could verify that you had indeed used different font weights.

The same applies to the Pango example. If not for the noticeable break
in stroke thickness, and the high magnification, the effect is easy to

My conclusion would be that this feature is of limited practical
utility, assuming the outcome of your efforts is typical.

This is more of a question: what tool(s) did you use to create these?

Forcing everybody to implement something that is of limited utility
doesn't seem the right answer, somehow. I can see why an expectation
that color (or underlining) should not affect shaping is both reasonable
and useful. And for those examples, it seems that not only would this be
useful to authors and readers of such sites, but the implementations
should have no difficulties arriving at outcomes that are "predictable"
by authors.

For generalized font and style breaks, I think it would be enough to
recommend that these are not intended to break shaping runs. I don't
know whether the results can be made comparable across implementations
in the general case (radical differences in font family or size may be
handled differently). It would not seem beneficial to pretend that this
would simply "work" for the general case.

How would you handle the lam-alif ligature, if it had a font or style
break between the two letters?


Received on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 11:14:39 UTC