Bidi: inserting Japanese paragraphs in Arabic/Farsi document

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Sun Nov 20 10:58:54 CST 2016

2016-11-20 17:37 GMT+01:00 Eli Zaretskii <eliz at>:

> > From: Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at>
> > Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2016 17:20:49 +0100
> > Cc: Simon Cozens <simon at>,
> >       unicode Unicode Discussion <unicode at>
> >
> > The alignment of the paragraph to the right is optional, it is less
> essential.
> It's essential for people who speak those languages.  Not seeing the
> alignment would cause some brows to be raised (and can also cause
> incorrect reading in some marginal cases).
> > That alignment is prefered only when it is a separate paragraph, but if
> the Japanese citation is within an Arabic
> > paragraph encoded as :
> >
> > ARABIC-ONE "【Japanese1】Japanese2" ARABIC-TWO
> >
> > I expect to see
> >
> > OWT-CIBARA Japanese2 【Japanese1】"" ENO-CIBARA
> >
> > aligned to the right margin
> No, you should see this:
>  OWT-CIBARA "Japanese2 【Japanese1】" ENO-CIBARA
> That's what Emacs shows me.

That's because EMACS uses some "smart quote" processing, but it is
absolutely not part of the Unicode Bidi standard, This is an extension
("smart quote" matching is known to be defective in all processors in many
cases because they assume rules used for specific languages, but they DO
NOT work properly notably when using multilingual text where various
languages use quotation marks very differently and in incompatible ways!!!

The ASCII quotes are neither opening, nor closing, they do not form
**clear** pairs (e.g when I speak about the two characters ' " ' and " ' ",
smart processors are unable to correctly guess how simple and double quotes
are pairing, or if they are really pairing or not !!!).

Emacs will be as stupid as other wordprocessors here if it uses its "smart
quotes" to tune the behavior Bidi algorithm (IMHO this is clearly a real
BUG of Emacs if it does that, this will never be portable and this behavior
is completely unpredictable).

Here I was speaking about the standard Bidi algorithm (also part of HTML
and SVG, and implemetned in browsers: none of them can use any "smart
quote" processing, only some word processors may do that but with
interaction with users dueing editing, but NEVER for rendering a read-only
document, because those "smart quotes" are just guesses for most frequent
cases, but there are many exceptions, notably in multilingual documents
like here)
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