Re: Displaying Plane 1 characters (was Re: TV teletext)

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Wed Oct 14 1998 - 17:55:28 EDT

> BTW, as long as we're talking about what you can do on a Mac... Did you
> know that Apple actually ships TWO operating systems?
BTW, as long as we're plugging things :-)

> (Arabic & Hebrew are not presently supported by the OS.)
No doubt due to bidi issues? This is probably why we also don't find
Hebrew or Arabic in Microsoft's Lucida Console. I don't have much experience
with Arabic, but as to Hebrew, I can say that there has been plenty of
online computing in Hebrew, going back many years and still going strong
today, that is based on ISO 2022 and VT100/220/320 terminals. A good example
that anybody can look at is Hebrew University's ALEPH bibliographic system,
which (I believe) is used at every university in Israel, and also at the
Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. The bidi issues are
handled by the host software, transparently to the terminal or emulator, by
cursor addressing and the like, so as long as the emulator has a Hebrew font
and understands the protocols (ISO 2022 / VT320), Hebrew data entry and
display are simple and straightforward.

The problem these days seems to be finding a Unicode fixed width font that
includes Hebrew. (Readers from Microsoft, please regard this as another
plea -- complete with reason -- to add Hebrew to Lucida Console.)

As to Arabic, I'm sure it could work the same way, but from my limited
understanding of the situation, there are rendering requirements beyond those
of Hebrew that make display of Arabic (and probably Farsi, etc) in a
rectangular grid of screen cells unacceptable to most readers, even though
PC code pages have been available for use in DOS for many years.

- Frank

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