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Re: bidi-display-reordering is now non-nil by default

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: bidi-display-reordering is now non-nil by default
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 12:35:40 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> Maybe.  Bidi is a feature of display, i.e. it's impossible to
> correctly display text in some scripts without it.  With today's deep
> and wide m17n, whereby file names and network addresses can use R2L
> characters, saying "my mode doesn't have bidi" is tantamount to saying
> "my mode doesn't support certain cultures".

Emacs is a desktop environment with at best marginal
internationalization, and editing texts is only a small part of its
functionality.  I think it is delusional to prescribe that all modes and
programming languages should in the name of culture-friendliness be
thought of as bidirectional by default when virtually no aspect of
Emacs' user interfaces (short of tutorials in multiple languages)
departs from English.

Making Emacs viable for working with bidirectional material is an
excellent thing.  But Emacs needs to make much greater strides in
internationalization before it makes sense to have bidi efforts be
opt-out rather than opt-in in modes and buffers.  There is a reason
text-mode is opt-out rather than opt-in, and I think it would cause much
less trouble if we make bidi-paragraph-direction default to
left-to-right, set it to nil in text-mode, and add similar settings to
RMAIL and other modes on an as-needed basis.

> Whether this is reasonable or not, I cannot judge.

Everything can be reasoned, but we still need to make choices.

David Kastrup

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