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Re: docbook css questions

On Mon, 2 Sep 2002 23:22:22 +0200
"Abdallah Deeb" <abdallah at gnosyslb dot com> wrote:

> Maybe on a diffrent wave length here.
> I was looking for a way to write ps/pdf docs in Arabic for my
> project documetation, but all I found was ArabTex.
> assuming it works as promised (  I couldn't test it ...) it should
> write/typeset Arabic and output some neat LaTeX, and thus DVI files.

it works perfectly.

> the catch ? well, your document should be written in "LATIN"
> characters, something like transliteration, with a specific set of
> characters.

not really ArabTeX supports native encoding too, its widespread use is
the latin transliteration because it was designed to work in dark days
of 7 bit communication and to work on computers who have no support
for arabic whatsoever.

> Now it should be easy to do a one-on-one translation of the Arabic
> characters into the needed Latin charachter table.
yes it is very easy the rules to arabtex transliteration are very well
thought out, you could even analyze the transliterated text
morphologically and grammatically.

I wrote some M4 macros to do it years ago while helping my mom write a
paper in ArabTeX but lost them it should be easy to make them or make
some program again.

> I don't know if that helps!
> on my side, I might start doing the translation table when I'm done
> here. If I don't find another solution that is ...
as I said you can use native arabic encodings
I think there is support for UTF-8 ISO8859-6 and CP1256

in latex you need to load the encodings as packages
\usepackage {utf8}
\usepackage {iso88596}
\usepackage {arawin}

if you use pure TeX then you have to include a file first then
activate the codeset

\input utf8.sty
\setcode {utf8}
\input iso88596.sty
\setcode {iso8859-6}
\input arabwin.sty
\setcode {arabwin}

and then you just use the encoding directly, these files describe
scanners that convert your input to transliterated arabic and then
arabtex does its work (very much like my old m4 macros)

it worked very well last time I checked it.

just look for the files tex/arabtex/utf8.sty, tex/arabtex/iso88596.sty
and tex/arabtex/arawin.sty  in you tex directory (that is
/usr/share/texmf/ on my Mandrake system).

all the Latex document classes have been arabized and you should
expect no problems from using it.

however the real problem with ArabTeX is that it is not free software,
it has a restrictive license
"it is free for scientific and strictly private, noncommercial use"
to quote the copyright notice.
this is a very stupid license since it assumes that noncommercial use
is either private or scientific, what about using it for public and
charity project of no scietific nature?? I'm sure the author would not
complain but still.

and anyway while we could us this a standard for arabic documentation
I think that it would only be harmful on the long run to standardize
on proprietary software.

however the TeX/MetaFonts/LaTeX trio are to important to be ignored
and they offer the best in typesetting and document processing
technology, their use in academic and scientific fields is essential
so we need and alternative solution.
there is project Omega which aims at TeX support for all languages (at
least those that are in active use, I don't know what is the state of
arabic support though).
one promising project is FarsiTeX, FarsiTeX is GPLd software being
developed in Iran it has tremendous support from universities and the
ministry of culture there, if we manage to get enough arabic
developers to contribute we could have the answer since the project
aims at offering user friendly tools with wysiwym and wysiwyg
interfaces, it should be easy to support it from within LyX and
Docbook when it is ready.

Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the

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