Bidi paragraph direction in terminal emulators

Egmont Koblinger via Unicode unicode at
Sat Feb 9 13:48:20 CST 2019

Hi Asmus,

> On quick reading this appears to be a strong argument why such emulators will
> never be able to be used for certain scripts. Effectively, the model described works
> well with any scripts where characters are laid out (or can be laid out) in fixed
> width cells that are linearly adjacent.

I'm wondering if you happen to know:

Are there any (non-CJK) scripts for which a mechanical typewriter does
not exist due to the complexity of the script?

Are there any (non-CJK) scripts for which crossword puzzles don't exist?

For scripts where these do exist, is it perhaps an acceptable tradeoff
to keep their limitations in the terminal emulator world as well, to
combine the terminal emulator's power with these scripts?

Honestly, even with English, all I have to do is "cat some_text_file",
and chances are that a word is split in half at some random place
where it hits the right margin. Even with just English, a terminal
emulator isn't something that gives me a grammatically and
typographically super pleasing or correct environment. It gives me
something that I personally find grammatically and typographically
"good enough", and in the mean time a powerful tool to get my work

Obviously the more complex the script, the more tradeoffs there will
be. I think it's a call each user has to make whether they prefer a
terminal emulator or a graphical app for a certain kind of task. And
if terminal emulators have a lower usage rate in these scripts, that's
not necessarily a problem. If we can improve by small incremental
changes, sure, let's do. If we'd need to heavily redesign plenty of
fundamentals in order to improve, it most likely won't happen.


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