Bidi reordering of soft hyphen

Jonathan Rosenne jonathan.rosenne at
Tue Apr 1 18:12:35 CDT 2014

The use of soft hyphen is a cultural matter. In Hebrew, Classic and Israeli,
soft hyphens are not used.

Best Regards,

Jonathan Rosenne

-----Original Message-----
From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] On Behalf Of Simon
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 1:41 AM
To: Roozbeh Pournader; Ken Whistler, (ken.whistler at
Cc: Behdad Esfahbod; unicode at; James Clark
Subject: Re: Bidi reordering of soft hyphen

On 04/02/2014 12:00 AM, Roozbeh Pournader wrote:
> Adding Behdad for his insight on the rendering stack.
> But as for user requirements and expectations, the first option, with 
> the hyphen on the right side of "car" as "car-" is what a good 
> publisher would want to print in his magazine or book.  The second 
> option is harder to decipher for an RTL reader.

I agree with Roozbeh here. Since the hyphen marks a break in the middle of
the word, I think the most natural user expectation is that it should appear
after the last character in the word, where "after" and "last"
both refer to the reading direction of the word.

I have seen examples of this in published Hebrew books, and this is also the
way it's rendered in Chrome, Firefox and Opera (but in the case of Firefox,
since I wrote the code for it I can testify that it isn't this way by
design: as far as I remember I only took into account the direction of the
text run containing the soft hyphen and didn't even think about the
opposite-direction case).
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