Scribus looking for help with Hebrew layout bugs

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Aharon Varady

Jan 16, 2013, 12:29:34 PM1/16/13
to Open Siddur Technical Discussion List
Scribus is an open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. So it would be grand if it could correctly support layout and positioning for RTL scripts with diacritics. Alas, it can't but one of their developers named Christoph provided some helpful information on what their problem is over on their bugtracker in response to me and another user named Linuxrabbi.

I asked Christoph what coding experience one would need in order to help them. He wrote back:

Unfortunately, no one in the development team has any experience, not to mention expertise, with the typographic requirements of these RTL scripts. We don't have experience with Indic or CJK scripts either, but at least for Indic, Tamil or Japanese some volunteers showed up to work on support for their writing systems.

Which is to say: If you can find someone who has experience with Hebrew typography and font handling, as well as programming experience (preferably C++), by all means, encourage this person to contact the development team. There is some legacy code available, and cooperating with the external developers who are working on other non-European scripts might not be a bad idea.

I don't know of anyone personally that could possibly help. So please pass this on to your open source communities.

Christoph asked if I would provide some helpful information on the problem:

As you can see from that page, it's not a problem only for Hebrew. After tweeting this, twitter user @saqeram explained the problem is also annoying for Arabic and other RTL BIDI text users (see <>).


Aharon Varady
Founding Director, Hierophant
the Open Siddur Project
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