Bidi paragraph direction in terminal emulators (was: Proposal for BiDi in terminal emulators)

Egmont Koblinger via Unicode unicode at
Mon Feb 4 15:51:35 CST 2019

> > Yes.  If one has a text composed of LTR and RTL paragraphs, one has to
> > choose how far apart their starting margins are.  I think that could
> > get complicated for plain text if the terminal has unbounded width.
> But no real-life terminal does.  The width is always bounded.

Allegedly the no longer maintained FinalTerm, and maybe another one or
two not so popular terminal emulators experimented with this.

VTE and a few other emulators have also received such a feature
request; VTE has rejected it. See if you're curious.

Indeed BiDi becomes problematic in the sense that Richard pointed out:
how far should the starting margins be from each other? By terminal
emulators rejecting the idea of unbounded width, this is not a problem
for them.

It might still be a problem for BiDi aware text viewers/edtiors,
though. I mean one possible, obvious approach could be to adjust them
according to the terminal's width. Another is to take it from the
file's contents (e.g. longest line). But maybe there's demand for
other options, e.g. to have those margins 80 characters away from each
other even when the file is viewed on a mobile phone where the
viewport is narrower and the user wishes to scroll horizontally. This
is up for text viewers/editors to decide.


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