Is anybody working with Arabic?

Lars Brehmer larsbrehmer at
Wed Sep 1 08:03:46 EDT 2010

Thanks Richmond and Mark for the tips and advice.

Both were beyond my abilities at this time, but I appreciate it anyway.

For now I'll stick with my workarounds, one of which is trying to make  
sure that empty lines are never created in the custom property the  
first place. If that doesn't succeed, there is always:

repeat with i = 1 to the num of lines in tData
   if line i in tData = empty then delete line i in tData
end repeat

Obviously slower than "filter without empty" but the content of that  
custom property won't be large enough to make it noticable. By the way  
- I never understood why this, which is faster than "repeat with ..",  
doesn't work.

repeat for ech line X in tData
   if X = empty then delete  X
end repeat

I use "repeat for each ..." in many handlers, but it doesn't work here  
and i don't see the difference.

Last thing - the alphabetical question. Is the result of sorting  
Arabic text linesalphabetical indeed alphabetical?

Cheers again,


> I am working with Arabic for the first time and have a problem.  
> First of all, I do not speak, read or write Arabic, so I can't spot  
> things that might be obvious.  This project if for a friend who is  
> learning Arabic. He will eventually enter his own content, and my  
> Arabic content is just gibberish for testing purposes.
> So far, most things work as predicted - the Arabic font, right to  
> left text, etc. (looks weird by the way - the insertion point stays  
> at the right as new characters are added/deleted at the left)
> The only problem so far is this;
> The bilingual content is stored as a tab delimited list in a custom  
> property. When I filter the custom property without empty, I lose  
> all of the content of the custom property except the first line or  
> 2. I finally noticed after much frustration that this seems to  
> happen when there is more than one arabic word in an item, that is I  
> lose all of the content starting with the first space in an Arabic  
> item.
> The only thing I could think of is that the ASCII number of a space  
> using the Arabic keyboard layout differs from the ASCII number of a  
> European keyboard layout, but they are both 32.
> I found out a long time ago that when a " appears in such a tab  
> delimited list custom property, it causes weird things to happen,  
> but I can easily work around it, and it never caused content in the  
> custom property to just disappear while filtering without empty. Is  
> there something about Arabic text that I obviously don't know? For  
> now, all I can do is NOT filter without empty, which I do routinely  
> in scripts because an empty line in the custom property would be a  
> big problem for this particulat stack.
> Anyone have an idea about this?
> Also, when Runrev "supports" Arabic, does that mean that sorting  
> aplphabetically works correctly? I can see that the text lines are  
> indeed sorted by the first letter, but I obviously can't tell  
> whether it is alphabetical.

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