bidi status report

Subject: bidi status report
From: Tomas Frydrych (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 14:10:55 CST

There has been a lot of progress made on the bidi functionality in
the past month or so, mainly due to much of detailed feedback,
testing and a couple of patches by several Israeli users. Among the
main recent developments is the fact that we now run both on non-
bidi and bidi-enabled win32, although there are a couple of issues
that still need to be resolved on some flavours of bidi-enabled
windows (this is prooving rather nightmarish, since we not only
need to be able to develop on Windows, but also on a score of
different versions of bidi-enabled Windows, and we are unlikely to
make much further progress in this area unless some developers
with access to MSVC runing of those particular flavours of
Windows come on board).

The main issue to work on in the near future is the Word importer,
but that is equally true for the non-bidi build, since there are
significant features in AW that the importer does not yet handle,
and documents that choke it to death -- the importer will feature
high on my priority list in the run up to the 1.0 release.

The bidi build itself apears stable; I have not experienced a bidi-
related crash for a long time. In the light of that, I would like to ask
permission to turn the bidi support on by default. If we as a result of
that experience unexpected problems that could not be easily fixed
and/or serious performance drop for the non-bidi users, we can turn
it off again -- any new bidi specific code will continue to be placed
inside the #ifdef BIDI_ENABLED construct). The main reason why I
would like it turned on in the mainstream build is that this is the
only way we can evaluate how it works in the real world. There will
be some loses, namely noticeably greater memory usage, but
there should be some gains too, as I have spent much time on
optimizing the drawing mechanism, which I think is now more
efficient than that of the non-bidi build.


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