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Re: mlterm with BiDi support

> Hello,
> At Mon, 24 Dec 2001 18:50:19 +0200,
> Shaul Karl wrote:
> > I believe a terminal emulator is the natural place for BiDi handling. 
> > Isn't one of the terminal emulator main tasks to free the application 
> > from the
> > tedious details of input/output and present a common interface? After 
> > all, it is the terminal emulator and not the application who has more 
> > knowledge about the terminal and the most convenient methods of dealing 
> > with various aspects of the terminal. A terminal emulator that does not 
> > handle its BiDi applications force these applications to deal with BiDi 
> > by themselves.
> > This is bad because:
> > (1) It complicates the application with aspects that the application 
> > should not be concerned of (input/output methods).
> > (2) It also complicates the application because the application has 
> > more limited ways to handle the terminal then the terminal emulator.
> > (3) It does not help in creating a common application-terminal 
> > interface for BiDi applications. Actually, not only that it does not 
> > help but it also makes it more difficult. Even if the application 
> > programmer is looking for BiDi support it is hard for him to verify the 
> > correctness of his work since this is not natural for him.
> Thank you for your clear opinion.  Though I fully agree the logic of
> your opinion, I thought it was not sufficient.  I wanted to know how
> _native_ speakers of Hebrew and Arab think.  (Sometimes logically
> perfect opinion annoys native speakers because native speakers have
> their own way to do and tradition, which may be somewhat irrational
> but should be respected.)

I am a native Hebrew speaker.
However I believe that what is most derivable here are native speakers 
who are Unix programmers that also program to the Terminal, as opposed 
to X env. Not sure if there are many people under this category.
I am hardly qualified under this narrower category. Yet I will try to 
comment, hoping that I will be able to make sense.
I do not think you can speak of tradition here since there is none, at 
least as far as I can tell. In fact, I believe that you and other who 
try to code multi lingual terminals are establishing the standard.

> > > The point is, Shaul, do you think the BiDi support should be enabled
> > > by default or should be disabled by default?
> >
> > What are the implications of enabling it by default? 
> > Will it be transparent to applications that are not BiDi aware? Will it 
> > makes them totally unusable? Perhaps it would makes them show some 
> > gibberish here and there but the overall result would be acceptable?
> Enabling BiDi never make mlterm unusable for non-BiDi people.
> I cannot feel even speed down because of BiDi.  I think there are
> no reasons to disable BiDi.
> FYI, there are some people who thinks BiDi should be supported not
> by terminal emulators but by applications. 
>       http://www.pps.jussieu.fr/~jch/software/luit/
>       http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/unicode.html#xterm
> However, they are not native speakers of RTL languages and I think
> native speakers' opinion should be respected.

I have skim these references. Although I do not fully understand what 
they are talking about (what is full ISO 2022 support that luit 
mentioned) I do believe that what the xterm reference said about 
special application programs is wrong. I will make write a bit more 
about this in my reply to the message that Behdad Esfahbod 
<behdad@bamdad.org> gave.

> ---
> Tomohiro KUBOTA <kubota@debian.org>
> http://www.debian.or.jp/~kubota/
> "Introduction to I18N"  http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/intro-i18n/
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    Shaul Karl
    email: shaulka(at-no-spam)bezeqint.net 
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