Bidirectional Scripts in Desktop Software

Bidirectional scripts are those with characters flowing from right to left. Major bidirectional scripts are the Arabic, Persian and Hebrew scripts, but there are other ones too. Supporting these languages in the user interface of a desktop system needs special support in several layers of the system. Experiments and history shows such special support moves on the very thin edge between completely unusable and highly usable. So they deserve their own guidelines for a consistent cross-desktop behavior. That's what we aim to do here.

Readings (a.k.a. References)

Non-Readings (a.k.a. Pre-Unicode Tries)

  • Understanding bidirectional language support is an older IBM standard.
  • ECMA TR53 Handling of Bi-directional Texts, Second Edition is a technical report on supporting bidi text in text terminals. No one knows if it was ever implemented.



All bidi discussion is currently on bidi at lists freedesktop org. The archives are here.

-- ?BehdadEsfahbod - June 7, 2005