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Re: Proposing Addition of a BIDI SubMenu to "Options"

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Proposing Addition of a BIDI SubMenu to "Options"
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2011 05:24:58 -0400

> From: Mohsen BANAN <address@hidden>
> Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2011 20:37:57 -0700
> I am proposing that something like this be added
> to the Options Menu -- Perhaps right after Mule.


I object to exposing bidi-display-reordering to the user level.  It is
no accident that I didn't make it a user option (unlike
bidi-paragraph-direction).  There should be no reason for users to
change this variable, at least not conveniently.

As for the rest, what you suggest is a beginning, but it should
include more.  For example, a command to make the current paragraph
(and only the current paragraph) L2R resp R2L, a command to enclose a
portion of text into a directional embedding, with or without
directional override, etc.  We don't want users to be experts in the
UBA to edit bidirectional text conveniently.

The challenge is to come up with a good UI for these features.
IMNSHO, a menu item that just sets a variable is largely missing the
point in this respect, because setting a variable is the easy part of
this stuff.

> In addittion to English, I think it would be kool
> for the menu items to also be in Hebrew, Arabic
> and Persian. I have included starting point
> Persian text below.

That already works in most toolkits (all of those I tried, but I don't
have access to all of the supported ones).  But what you are trying to
do is start a localization of the Emacs UI, not just display
bidirectional text in a menu item.  That is a much larger issue, and
it cannot be sneaked in just for some scripts and languages.  It must
be part of some larger framework.

For example, even if we consider just the R2L languages, we should
allow to customize the UI so that the menu-bar items and the tool-bar
buttons, as well as the mode line, display starting at the right
margin of the frame, like other applications do.

And there are more issues to tackle, as significant portions of the
Emacs UI are implemented as text inserted into buffers (e.g.,
Customize, Dired, etc.).  Making all this localizable is a large job,
but it cannot be bypassed.

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