[NTG-context] 10+ reasons why I still use MKII

Idris Samawi Hamid ادريس سماوي حامد ishamid at colostate.edu
Thu May 13 21:31:52 CEST 2010

On Thu, 13 May 2010 15:06:09 -0500, Khaled Hosny <khaledhosny at eglug.org>

>> >>Something I find very annoying is variable interline spacing, if I've,
>> >>for example, a line with some Arabic words vocalized I get some times
>> >>too much white space above it that it almost looks like an empty line.
>> >>It makes the page look like crap. Is there a way to force fixed
>> >>interline spacing?
>> Can you give an example?
>> >turn turn grid on .. but even then, we need some nice heuristic
>> >for determing the right ht/dp ratio for arabic (can be set up)
>> I have some nice texts that illustrate a standard balance, but I'd
>> like to see what Khaled has in mind exactly before I comment
>> further...
> Nothing special, I always expect interline space to be fixed, I don't
> know if TeX always make interline spacing variable, but this wasn't an
> issue with English text. However, with Arabic, Tashkil marks seems to
> always cause a noticeable extra whitespace above the line.
> See the uneven distribution of vertical whitespace in this example (it
> can be even worse than this in reality):
> \usemodule[simplefonts]
> \setmainfont[Arabic Typesetting][features=arabic]
> \starttext
> \pardir TRT\textdir TRT
> \dorecurse{10}{\dorecurse{20}{نص عربي } نَصُّ مُشكَّل \dorecurse{20}{نص  
> عربي}}
> \stoptext

I used to find this annoying years ago but today I look at it as a good
feature. In your \definebodyfontenvironment you just have to define a good
interlinespace. Presumably the one picked up from the font by luatex is
not high enough.

In my journal, I used to use \struttedbox's (or something similarly named)
to suppress this when mixing english and arabic...

Professionally mixed latin-arabic texts often adjust the interline
spacing, especially when arabic is introduced into latin paragraphs. This
is almost unavoidable since making arabic-script readable and matchable to
latin involves a larger relative size for aesthetic optics.

Sometimes forcing will look nice, but even then one probably has to add a
bit of interlinespace to the latin font to get the right balance. That is,
a latin document that uses a LOT of interparagraph arabic will want a bit
extra interlinespace to begin with, so that "forcing" will generally give
good results.

Best wishes

Professor Idris Samawi Hamid, Editor-in-Chief
International Journal of Shi`i Studies
Department of Philosophy
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523

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