Hebrew -- logical versus visual

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2004/12/19 16:02 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2004/12/19/326806.aspx


I was contacted by nik john, who asked me:

i'm a PhD student at the hebrew university in jerusalem. i'm working on social aspects of the internet in israel. right now i'm interested in the development of hebrew for the internet. i read your articles about unicode and was interested in whether you know anything about how hebrew developed for the internet in israel (the struggle between "visual" and "logical")? 

I would always suggest logical ordering, not visual. The visual encoding is in no way a natural way to communicate in the language and just represents an eagerness to have Hebrew on computers before technology supported the language. It essentially requires an author to write their own language backwards on a line-by-line basis... yuck!

A very good discussion about the issue and the pros and cons of (as well as some of the historical basis for) each can be found in this article.

This post brought to you by "ךּ" (U+fb3a, a.k.a. HEBREW LETTER FINAL KAF WITH DAGESH)
SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: U+fb3a is intended only for legacy transcoding. Modern implementations should use U+05da + U+05bc (HEBREW LETTER FINAL KAF + HEBREW POINT DAGESH OR MAPIQ).


# ? on 20 Dec 2004 9:11 AM:

Is there an easy way to enter hebrew characters with dagesh and other Hebrew "nikud" in Windows?

# Michael Kaplan on 20 Dec 2004 9:20 AM:

Certainly! When one uses the Hebrew keyboard, hitting the CAPS LOCK gets you all of the following potential mappings (all across the top row of the keyboard):

[SHIFT+TILDE] HEBREW POINT SHEVA
[SHIFT+1] HEBREW POINT HATAF SEGOL
[SHIFT+2] HEBREW POINT HATAF PETAH
[SHIFT+3] HEBREW POINT HATAF QAMATS
[SHIFT+4] HEBREW POINT HIRIQ
[SHIFT+5] HEBREW POINT TSERE
[SHIFT+6] HEBREW POINT SEGOL
[SHIFT+7] HEBREW POINT PATAH
[SHIFT+8] HEBREW POINT QAMATS
[SHIFT+9] HEBREW POINT SIN DOT
[SHIFT+0] HEBREW POINT SHIN DOT
[SHIFT+MINUS] HEBREW POINT HOLAM
[SHIFT+EQUALS] HEBREW POINT DAGESH OR MAPIQ

MSKLC is a great tool for loading a keyboard and looking at what is in it!

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