Vim Support for Syriac

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Vim Support for Syriac

Tony Khoshaba

Hi,
I am interested in adding support for Syriac in Vim. Syriac is similar to Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi. It is right-to-left and has its own shaping rules.

Where do I start? I will appreciate your help.

Thanks
Tony Khoshaba
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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

A.J.Mechelynck
Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> Hi,
> I am interested in adding support for Syriac in Vim. Syriac is similar to Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi. It is right-to-left and has its own shaping rules.
>
> Where do I start? I will appreciate your help.
>
> Thanks
> Tony Khoshaba
>

If I were you, I'd have a serious hard look at arabic.c and arabic.h in
the src/ subdirectory of wherever you downloaded (or will have
downloaded) the Vim source. IIUC, the rules for Syriac should be similar
to those for Arabic, except that the Unicode blocks for isolated glyphs
and for presentation forms (i.e., initial, medial, final and possibly
digraph or multicharacter forms if any) would be different, and that any
"national.


Bset regards,
Tony.
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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

A.J.Mechelynck
In reply to this post by Tony Khoshaba
Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> Hi,
> I am interested in adding support for Syriac in Vim. Syriac is similar to Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi. It is right-to-left and has its own shaping rules.
>
> Where do I start? I will appreciate your help.
>
> Thanks
> Tony Khoshaba
>

If I were you, I'd have a serious hard look at arabic.c and arabic.h in
the src/ subdirectory of wherever you downloaded (or will have
downloaded) the Vim source. IIUC, the rules for Syriac should be similar
to those for Arabic, except that the Unicode blocks for isolated glyphs
and for presentation forms (i.e., initial, medial, final and possibly
digraph or multicharacter forms if any) would be different, and that any
"national ISO-8859-n encoding" would also be different.


Bset regards,
Tony.

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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

Tony Khoshaba
If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would it be?

Tony

"A.J.Mechelynck" <[hidden email]> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> Hi,
> I am interested in adding support for Syriac in Vim. Syriac is similar to Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi. It is right-to-left and has its own shaping rules.
>
> Where do I start? I will appreciate your help.
>
> Thanks
> Tony Khoshaba
>

If I were you, I'd have a serious hard look at arabic.c and arabic.h in
the src/ subdirectory of wherever you downloaded (or will have
downloaded) the Vim source. IIUC, the rules for Syriac should be similar
to those for Arabic, except that the Unicode blocks for isolated glyphs
and for presentation forms (i.e., initial, medial, final and possibly
digraph or multicharacter forms if any) would be different, and that any
"national ISO-8859-n encoding" would also be different.


Bset regards,
Tony.


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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

A.J.Mechelynck
Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would
> it be?

1. Look how the Arabic module does it.
2. Look how the Arabic module is hooked into the main loop.
3. Look in http://www.unicode.org/charts/ how Arabic and Syriac Unicode
blocks (including presentation forms) differ.
4. Take into account any idiosyncrasies of either language (such as the
fact that Arabic laam+alif is a mandatory digraph).
5. Either you can do it, or you can't. If you can, write it. If you
can't, leave it, but (if possible) upload your notes on the Web. Maybe
someone else will pick it up where you left.



Best regards,
Tony.
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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

Tony Khoshaba

I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of things to do.
I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit box and used a TTF font for it. That was before Microsoft added Syriac rendering engine to professional XP. But most people do not have access to professional XP.

To adopt my Syriac TTF fonts for such project what should I do? Sorry for asking basic questions but my knowledge in this area has become rusty and I need to come to speed.

Tony

"A.J.Mechelynck" <[hidden email]> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> If you were to create a list things to do to do this project what would
> it be?

1. Look how the Arabic module does it.
2. Look how the Arabic module is hooked into the main loop.
3. Look in http://www.unicode.org/charts/ how Arabic and Syriac Unicode
blocks (including presentation forms) differ.
4. Take into account any idiosyncrasies of either language (such as the
fact that Arabic laam+alif is a mandatory digraph).
5. Either you can do it, or you can't. If you can, write it. If you
can't, leave it, but (if possible) upload your notes on the Web. Maybe
someone else will pick it up where you left.



Best regards,
Tony.

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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

A.J.Mechelynck
Tony Khoshaba wrote:

>
> I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of
> things to do.
> I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit
> box and used a TTF font for it. That was before Microsoft added Syriac
> rendering engine to professional XP. But most people do not have access
> to professional XP.
>
> To adopt my Syriac TTF fonts for such project what should I do? Sorry
> for asking basic questions but my knowledge in this area has become
> rusty and I need to come to speed.
>
> Tony


If your Syriac TTF fonts include all the necessary glyphs, they
shouldn't be the problem; they should work "out of the box" once the
support for the Syriac alphabet will have been built into the C source
of Vim, just by setting 'guifont', 'rightleft', etc. to proper settings.
The problem is to have Vim display the proper contextual forms in the
proper contexts, like it does for Arabic, and that requires a C module
which should IMHO be very similar to the Arabic one.


Best regards,
Tony.
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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

Tony Khoshaba
If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my impression was that there is more into font design than just using a TTF font out of the box. Anyway nut I thing I have enough material to work with.

So if I start with Windows version of Vim, can I build it straight forwardly using Microsoft VC++ tools?

Tony


"A.J.Mechelynck" <[hidden email]> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:

>
> I am motivated to do it. But first would like to outline the list of
> things to do.
> I once wrote a rendering engine in Dephi and hooked it to a Windows edit
> box and used a TTF font for it. That was before Microsoft added Syriac
> rendering engine to professional XP. But most people do not have access
> to professional XP.
>
> To adopt my Syriac TTF fonts for such project what should I do? Sorry
> for asking basic questions but my knowledge in this area has become
> rusty and I need to come to speed.
>
> Tony


If your Syriac TTF fonts include all the necessary glyphs, they
shouldn't be the problem; they should work "out of the box" once the
support for the Syriac alphabet will have been built into the C source
of Vim, just by setting 'guifont', 'rightleft', etc. to proper settings.
The problem is to have Vim display the proper contextual forms in the
proper contexts, like it does for Arabic, and that requires a C module
which should IMHO be very similar to the Arabic one.


Best regards,
Tony.

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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

A.J.Mechelynck
Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would
> mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my
> impression was that there is more into font design than just using a TTF
> font out of the box. Anyway nut I thing I have enough material to work
> with.
>
> So if I start with Windows version of Vim, can I build it straight
> forwardly using Microsoft VC++ tools?

Adding Arabic to Vim required no change in the existing fonts: once I
had a gvim with +arabic, I could edit Arabic text, even vocalised
Arabic, using the Courier_New font that came with Windows; but Syriac is
a "rarer" language than Arabic, you may have to make sure that you have
a fixed-width font with Syriac glyphs. Start with Courier_New and use
":set guifont=*" if that doesn't work. After using ":set guifont=*" I
recommend to use ":set guifont=<Tab>" to replace the :c part of the font
by :cDEFAULT as in (for example) ":set guifont=Courier_New:h12:cDEFAULT"
-- with that setting I've been able to see Latin, Russian and Arabic
text in a single file (of course, seeing the Arabic text "properly"
required toggling the text direction with ":setlocal invrightleft").

You should be able to edit the Vim C source with Vim itself, then build
it with any set of make, C/C++ compiler and linker that can work
together. I have used Borland BCC32 and Cygwin gcc, but yes, MSVC has
also been used. In that case, the makefile to use is src/Make_mvc.mak .
You may want to set some configuration settings by means of environment
variables before running make, but I'm not sure of the details -- MSVC
is one compiler I haven't used. You may want to look at the comments in
the Make_mvc.mak and/or at how I have built Vim for Windows using BCC
and (later) gcc, see
http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/vim/compile.htm .

Once you have a working patch for Vim, don't forget to submit it to Bram
for inclusion into the "official" source. ;-)


Best regards,
Tony.
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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

Tony Khoshaba
Great info thank you. I was playing with Courier_New as well. I was wondering what proper tool I can use to just add Syriac to Courier_New and name it something else so the same way Syriac would be supported along with other languages using the same font.

Tony

"A.J.Mechelynck" <[hidden email]> wrote: Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> If this is the case then the project looks easier. Adding Syriac would
> mean just changing some of the shaping rules for Arabic. But my
> impression was that there is more into font design than just using a TTF
> font out of the box. Anyway nut I thing I have enough material to work
> with.
>
> So if I start with Windows version of Vim, can I build it straight
> forwardly using Microsoft VC++ tools?

Adding Arabic to Vim required no change in the existing fonts: once I
had a gvim with +arabic, I could edit Arabic text, even vocalised
Arabic, using the Courier_New font that came with Windows; but Syriac is
a "rarer" language than Arabic, you may have to make sure that you have
a fixed-width font with Syriac glyphs. Start with Courier_New and use
":set guifont=*" if that doesn't work. After using ":set guifont=*" I
recommend to use ":set guifont=" to replace the :c part of the font
by :cDEFAULT as in (for example) ":set guifont=Courier_New:h12:cDEFAULT"
-- with that setting I've been able to see Latin, Russian and Arabic
text in a single file (of course, seeing the Arabic text "properly"
required toggling the text direction with ":setlocal invrightleft").

You should be able to edit the Vim C source with Vim itself, then build
it with any set of make, C/C++ compiler and linker that can work
together. I have used Borland BCC32 and Cygwin gcc, but yes, MSVC has
also been used. In that case, the makefile to use is src/Make_mvc.mak .
You may want to set some configuration settings by means of environment
variables before running make, but I'm not sure of the details -- MSVC
is one compiler I haven't used. You may want to look at the comments in
the Make_mvc.mak and/or at how I have built Vim for Windows using BCC
and (later) gcc, see
http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/vim/compile.htm .

Once you have a working patch for Vim, don't forget to submit it to Bram
for inclusion into the "official" source. ;-)


Best regards,
Tony.

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Re: Vim Support for Syriac

A.J.Mechelynck
Tony Khoshaba wrote:
> Great info thank you. I was playing with Courier_New as well. I was
> wondering what proper tool I can use to just add Syriac to Courier_New
> and name it something else so the same way Syriac would be supported
> along with other languages using the same font.

I don't know how to edit fonts; if you do it, make sure that all your
Courier_New glyphs (including the existing Latin glyphs) have exactly
the same dimensions: height, width, and height of the top and bottom of
a letter like lowercase x relative to the character cell. Anyway, I
don't know of any fixed-width font covering the full Unicode range: when
editing my front page
http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/index.htm , which has not only
Latin but also Cyrillic (Russian) and East-Asian (Chinese and Japanese)
text, I have to change the 'guifont' depending on which part I'm editing.

If your Courier_New font hasn't got (even with :cDEFAULT) the Syriac
glyphs you need, well, try to find a fixed-with font with a different
name, providing the Syriac glyphs, and also if possible the basic Latin
glyphs. Or you might want to check if there is a language pack that
includes Syriac on the Windows Update site: installing that might be
enough to add the required glyphs to Courier_New (and also to common
"proportional" fonts like Arial or Times New Roman: Vim cannot use them,
but if you create HTML pages in Syriac you can load them in your
favourite browser to check that they display OK).


Best regards,
Tony.