Category Archives: ISO

Proposal for Replacing @ in Arabic emails address with Arabic symbol

This is a Proposal for Replacing @ in Arabic emails address with Arabic symbol, As you know Arabic (and international) domain names are now supported, for example, In Egypt TE-Data started registering Arabic domains, see this link

Since the username and domain name for some email address’ will be in Arabic, it doesn’t make sense to keep the sign “@” between them, which is originally Latin symbol as abbreviation for “at”.  So here, this is a proposal to add new character to Unicode to replace “@” for emails address’ which use Arabic domain names. This new symbol will only be used when Arabic email address is displayed, the memory buffer will not be changed and the email address internally should still keep “@” in order not to break the email protocol.

The suggested symbol is the Arabic letter Aien “ع” with long tail that will circle it in the same way it circle the letter “a” in @.. The Aien is suitable because it can be considered an abbreviation of one of the following:

  1. على – means “on”
  2. عند – means “at”
  3. عنوان – means “address”

I am not very good in art, but I tried to do my best and designed a draft symbol just to illustrate the idea, which of course will have different shapes based on the font, as shown in the figure below.

Please leave comments with your feedback and opinion.


Posted by on 21/10/2010 in Arabic, ISO, Proposal, Unicode


10 Reasons to reject OOXML as ISO standard

Of course, I listed here 10 points but actually you can find hundreds of reasons and thousands of issues and defects. For me, it’s enough a more shorter list than the one I’m providing here to reject the OOXML and abide to one only ISO standard for office document format which is ODF (OpenDocument format).From my point of view, OOXML standardization is only useful for Microsoft and it is not for the rest of the world. While ODF is bad for Microsoft and good for the rest of the world for the same reasons. You can have a look on the following list and think if OOXML should be approved by ISO or should be rejected (even from normal ISO track which I think it is not possible according to ISO directives). Here is why OOXML (i.e. ISO DIS29500) should be rejected:

  1. The current ISO fast track is not suitable for OOXML DIS29500 which is more than 6000 pages and still is not ready to use fast track. Ready means it is completed, bug-free and has enough consensuses from all parties. This is still not true for OOXML.
  2. More than 3000 comments from all NBs was provided and normalized later to 1026 non-duplicate comments that had no chance for careful discussion in the Ballot resolution meeting in Geneva last Feb.
  3. Many Issues has been discovered related to Arabic and Islamic culture specific requirements. All these comments has not reached to ISO because of limited time allowed for review.
  4. This is a redundant standard. The current ODF ISO standard is sufficient and satisfactory for all NBs around the world. OOXML is only satisfactory for MS because it will retain its monopolization of the office suites and the documents file formats.
  5. OOXML approval as ISO standard is against the interoperability of the government documents as it will restrict the exchange of the documents between citizens or other countries that are using open source and office suites other than MS products.
  6. If OOXML approved as ISO standard, this will force million of people around the world) who want to deal with the governments to use this format. This mean a great increase of revenue for MS and a lot of lose for the our country National Income. This can be avoided by rejecting OOXML as standard and support the current ODF ISO standard.
  7. OOXML will cause ISO dual-standards for the same thing, which will divide the world and the people. Also dual standards always mean increase costs, confusion for industries, governments and citizens.
  8. OOXML didn’t achieve any of the goals stated in the proposed standard draft. For example: The full compatibility with the current MS office binary format can not be implemented using the current proposed specification, only MS can implement it.
  9. Currently no full implementation for OOXML. Even MS Office 2007 does not compliant to the current proposed DIS29500 specification. How OOXML can be ISO standard while no full implementation is exist. Instead this needs various full implementations from different vendors to guarantee the maturity, common and repeated use.
  10. This format conflicts with existing ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash)

Hence, for all those rational reasons and since the NBs should vote by the end of the current month for the final ISO DIS29500 standardization, I think OOXML should fail and return to normal ISO track.


Posted by on 24/03/2008 in Arabic, ISO, ODF, OOXML


Why OOXML should be rejected

This is a technical presentation regarding the MS Open XML format which is currently in its ISO fast track to be standardized. This presentation covers the subject from many sides. OOXML should not be an ISO standard for many reasons as shown in the presentation.The presentation shows the lack of support of languages that based on Arabic script. Also a missing Islamic specific requirements. I’m asking all National Bodies around the world to reject OOXML in the current fast track and instead of having dual-standards, MS should improve the current approved ODF standard (OpenDocument format). Please watch the presentation carefully and let me know your comments.  


Posted by on 09/03/2008 in Arabic, ISO, ODF, OOXML


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