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VIM-6 already has a number of the required Arabization features developed (unicode support, a hack to support right-to-left (RTL) write ability, etc). What is lacking is shaping code as well as a firm font/keymap definition.


Start date Jan 16, 2001
Maintainer Nadim Shaikli
Contributors No contributors
Status Inactive
Mailing list Develop
Version control


  • The various common keyboard used out there (Arabic has 5 keyboard mappings :-)
  • Shaping code ought to be modularized so that we could potentially release it stand-alone to other projects for inclusion - thoughts ?
  • Bidi support is not really included (rightleft is not Bidi), what to do about this (long term question - not a show-stopper) ?
  • Any thoughts from Bram about non-fixed width fonts ?




No public todos.

History Log

(Jun 03, 2003)

With the release of Vim-6.2 with Arabeyes' patches, Nadim officially crowns this project "Successfully Complete :-)" - work will continue on bug fixes and minor modifications and/or changes as the need arises. Special thanks to all those who helped and tested.

(May 01, 2003)

Finally, the Arabic patch gets adopted - woHOOOOO :-)
Please download Vim-6.2c (still in ALPHA release) and test.

(Apr 19, 2003)

In a quest to get the Arabic patch adopted into Vim-6.2, Nadim, upon Bram's requests, makes the following modifications (versions 1.20, 1.21, 1.22, 1.23),

  • Some code cleanup and repartitioning
  • Segmentation of the code for more controllability
  • UTF-8 encoding is no longer forced, user needs to set it
  • Added xterm support given proper xterm configuration/invocation
  • Various other changes

(Feb 26, 2003)

Nadim uploads latest patch changes to Vim-6.1.0 and beyond,

  • Add all necessary documentation (:help arabic now works)
  • Minor code/bug fixes

(Jan 08, 2003)

The Cream project announces a new release of gVIM including the Arabeyes Arabic patches.

For more information, please read this post

(May 22, 2002)

Nadim uploads latest code/patch

  • Display Form-B shaped glyphs only (possible font spacing issues)
  • Various minor clean-up

(May 01, 2002)

Added a couple VIM screenshots here and there. The first is simply viewing a file, and the second showing it searching for a string

(Mar 26, 2002)

Nadim uploads the necessary files/changes due to VIM-6.1 release

Make sure to grab the latest patch file

(Mar 08, 2002)

Nadim uploads a new batch of fixes and improvements

  • Complex characters (eg, LAA) are handled correctly now
  • Harakat and Tanween had been fixed and enabled

Bidi remains the final frontier; Nadim notes a few tricks up his sleeve :-)

(Dec 31, 2001)

Nadim says, "Vim and Arabic are VERY usable - go for it !!!"

Nadim urges all to read the README file

Nadim notes the addition of search abilities; download files from the download section below

Nadim notes what's left for Arabic and VIM-6.0

  • Addition of complex character handling (eg, LAA)
  • Addition of Bidi (bi-directionality)
  • Incorporating all new code/patches to VIM's main trunk/code onto

Happy New Year to all Arabic-Vim users ;-)

(Dec 10, 2001)

Nadim notes alpha release of Arabic support for VIM-6.0

Search abilities are being looked into next.

(Nov 30, 2001)

The linux/BSD inability to see shaped character problem is fixed :-)

  • XFree86 bundles an incomplete 10x20 font file
  • That incomplete font file was accessed in lieu of the completed arabeyes' version (it's first in the fp path).
  • We've temporarily changed our font name to circumvent this issue.

Nadim uploads his partial hacks to CVS awaiting Bram's feedback.

(Nov 29, 2001)

Nadim reports ability to see shaped characters in his hacked code using his SUN solaris machine.

Isam & M.Elzubeir report inability to see ANY shaped characters on linux or FreeBSD.

Various questions have been posted to vim mailing-lists and await Bram's help.

The deadline, unfortunately, has been suspended awaiting external help.

(Nov 08, 2001)

Isam and Nadim agree to take over the work left for VIM

Isam, after some persuading :-), goes along with Nadim's self-imposed deadline of Nov 30.

(Nov 05, 2001)

Mohammed Elzubeir announced he is ceasing his work on VIM due to a variety of personal reasons and concedes `I wasted enough of your time, and I have no intentions of wasting more. Don't let it be a show-stopper'.

Mr. Elzubeir also noted that he will be putting forth a summary of all his findings into a file for another developer to take-over. Isam Bayazidi has shown great interest, any others ?

(Sep 27, 2001)

Mohammed Elzubeir makes a PROMISE to have his VIM Arabic-enabling code ready for beta testing (limited release) by October 8, 2001 :-)

Mr. Elzubeir also notes his inability to contact VIM's Farsi author for some questions regarding combining both Arabic/Farsi code (Mortaza Shiran's email address bounces back).

(Sep 08, 2001)

Completion counter above raised to 10 :-)

Mohammed Elzubeir reported adding preliminary shaping code to a yet untested, unreleased version. We'll have to wait for test code.

Nadim ventured further into fonts deciding to utilize ISO-10646 exclusively. Appropriate keymaps/fonts uploaded locally - unreleased.

(Sep 05, 2001)

Bram Moolenaar, VIM's developer, was informed of our work and intentions.

(Sep 02, 2001)

Nadim uploaded keymap/font files required for VIM and Arabic with detailed instructions.

(Sep 01, 2001)

A general call went out soliciting help and participation.