[etoys-dev] Etoys in Arab, is it possible ?

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Thu Oct 22 04:58:01 EDT 2009

On 22.10.2009, at 07:52, Andreas Raab wrote:

> Korakurider wrote:
>> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 1:26 PM, Andreas Raab <andreas.raab at gmx.de>  
>> wrote:
>>> Korakurider wrote:
>>>>  Oh, I see. Thanks.
>>>>  I also found screenshot of Arabic WinXP, that is interesting.
>>>> http://blog.way2.jp/system/wordpress/wp-content/2009/02/arabic-windows.jpg
>>>> So rewriting of all of UI pieces would be needed...
>>> Mirror it. OLPCVirtualScreen can deal with it just fine using  
>>> WarpBlt for
>>> the RTL layout. No changes required; everything would stick to the  
>>> right
>>> edge; x would go left in viewers etc. It'd be a pretty simple  
>>> thing to do.
>>> The hardest part would probably be getting the text rendering to  
>>> actually
>>> produce LTR rendering for RTL text since you're going to do the  
>>> mirroring on
>>> your own.
>>    But it means (x,y) coordinate system  will be also horizontally
>> mirrored.  Is that valid thing?
> Mathematically, or culturally? Mathematically, yes (it's just a 180  
> deg rotation around the y axis), culturally I don't know (but I  
> would generally expect that increasing horizontal values are mapped  
> in the way of the primary reading direction).

Etoys uses the mathematical convention, origin is in lower left. I  
thought about the mirroring option before but thought it would be  
unacceptable - all downloaded projects would be mirrored too, and  
would have the coordinate origin in the lower right.

Also, we will always have a mix of LTR with RTL text so we'd have to  
double-mirror the LTR spans (see the Latin text in Arab screen shot  

OTOH even if imperfect it would still be better than not supporting  
RTL locales at all. We'd need someone familiar with this to comment.

Rita, can you ask Svetla from OLPC Afghanistan to get someone involved  
in this discussion? They did the two translations I mentioned so they  
should definitely be interested in making it work.

- Bert -

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