[XeTeX] RTL (Arabic) preferred diacritics typing sequence

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Tue Dec 15 20:53:38 CET 2009

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 10:34:21AM -0600, Gregg Reynolds wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 5:50 AM, Juan Acevedo <juan.acevedo.juan at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>     Dear all,
>     I have unfortunately forgotten, and now fail to find the answer to this
>     basic RTL text question:
>     Talking about inputing Arabic Unicode text, what is the preferred input
>     typing sequence, to obtain a better final output?; here is a case:
>     The word "al-.hayyu" (لحيُّ) ends with ya-shadda-damma
>     No matter my typing sequence, the rendering will be the same (damma on top
>     of shadda),
> That would be an error.  See Unicode 5.2 Section 2.11, p. 43.  For Arabic in
> particular, section 8.2, p. 240:  "The Unicode Standard does not specify a
> sequence order in case of multiple harakat applied to the same Arabic base
> character, as there is no possible ambiguity of interpretation."

Many fonts do stacked harakat as ligatures, which might result in only
shadda-madda sequence shown properly, unless font developer taking care
of both sequences (Scheherazade, for example, will place damma on shadda
whatever thes sequence is, which might be OK for most people).

>     Similar cases include combinations that involve shadda+tanwin combinations,
>     like
>     ".hayyaN" (حيًّا)
> Proper sequencing is tanween, then alif, but unfortunately the reverse order is
> more common even in the Arab world, due to the incorrect notion that the alif
> is the "seat" of the tanween.

Though I'm in strong favour of shadda before alif, which is correct is


 Khaled Hosny
 Arabic localiser and member of Arabeyes.org team
 Free font developer
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