Is anyone working with Arabic?

Richmond richmondmathewson at
Tue Aug 31 08:59:45 CDT 2010

Sorry, Lars,

   Time to "grow up" (at least as far as I am concerned, having about 50 
words of Arabic and not
   reading it at all, it is a "grown up" writing system) and move away 
from ASCII to Unicode.

   You WILL experience growing pains.

   However, once you get the hang of things, you will find that 
everything makes sense and is a whole
   lot more powerful than using ASCII.

   1.  I don't know what operating system you are using, but you will 
need to open a Unicode compliant
        Arabic font with a font-editing program . . .

        Try 'FontForge'; cross-platform, open-source and FREEEEE (it's 
got to be good)

        and make yourself up a little notebook with the characters (and 
remember that Arabic has 3 - 4
        forms for each letter: initial, final, mid-word and isolated) 
and their Hexadecimal Unicode addresses.

   2.  Get your paws on a half-decent calculator program that will 
convert back-and-forth between
        Hexadecimal and Decimal (unless God has gifted you with 16 toes 
this is a blessing).

        Convert all the Hex Unicode addresses into Decimal numbers and 
jot them down in your notebook.

   3.  Get used to the fact that, while with ASCII you write this sort 
of script:

        put "My Big Fat Mouth" into field "Gob"

        with Unicode you have to do this sort of thing:

        set the useUnicode to true
        set the unicodeText of field "Gob" to numToChar(57000) & 

   4.  Keep bothering ME, as I have already strayed far, far down the 
Unicode path with my Devawriter programs
        for Devanagari-Sanskrit text entry.

sincerely, Richmond Mathewson.

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