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Integrating BIDI and shaping in Newt

Hello Jad:

Sorry about the delay. I was suppose to send you something before Jan. 9th. 2004. Bicon, the project I was thinking of getting your guys to work on, is still in a state of flux so it took me a while to find the perfect project for you guys.

Debian/GNU Linux is in the process of creating a brand new text-based installer with hardware detection, better international support, and the ability to directly install sid, sarge or wooody. There is one problem with respect to i18n. BIDI is not part of the text-based installer and we must have it for proper Arabic display.

Debian Installer relies on Newt and Libtextwrap to display messages. To properly display Arabic, we need to hack Newt to put bidi and shaping support in it. Now I talked to the Debian people and they said Newt is UTF-8 friendly so all we have to do is pipe the text through bidi and shaping code.

What do you think? This is a simple project that should not take longer that 2 weeks at the most and it benefits all Arabs since Debian installer will be the first arabic installer in the world. Oh and btw, we did get the entire installer translated to Arabic . Currently we are at 97% complete (took us 2 weeks thanks to Ossama Khayat and Arafat Medini).

Here is a simple break down of what we need:

1. Hack Newt to pipe all displayed text through fribidi.
2. add the shaping code (must be written separately.Please see links below)
3. Write a simple Newt App that displays Arabic and start testing
4. Create a patch and submit it to arabeyes.org. I will take care of making it part of the newt standard distribution quickly
5. Enjoy the first ever Arabic installer. plus enjoy any new or old Newt App in Arabic.

Here are the necessary links to start the process:

1. Fribidi library is at http://fribidi.sf.net Please get the latest 0.10.4 version. If you are a debian user simply do "apt-get install fribidi"

2. Newt library is no where to be downloaded so you can get it at: "http://anmar.homelinux.org/~anmar/newt/";. This is the tar of the source package from debian.

3. the shaping code sample at http://cvs.arabeyes.org/viewcvs/projects/external/vim/vs.arabeyes.org

I would like to get a firm and serious commitment to this project as it is essential that we get it done ASAP. Please let me know soon so we can arrang some cvs space for this.

I prefer to keep this matter out in the open so I am CCing this email to developer at arabeyes dot org and would like to have all future correspondence posted there as well. I think you are already subscribed to this mailing list

Kind Regards,

Anmar Oueja