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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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Bidirectional Text Layout

By far the most important thing the scripts of the Middle East have in common (at least from the point of view of computer programmers trying to figure out how to draw them on a computer screen and represent them in memory) is that they're written from right to left rather than from left to right. By itself, this arrangement isn't difficult to do on a computer, but if you mix text written using one of these alphabets with text written using one of the alphabets described in Chapter 7, figuring out how to position all the letters correctly relative to each other can become a rather complicated affair. Because you can end up with a line of text with individual snippets of text on the line running in two different directions, ...

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