From typeset Arabic directly to SVG with LuaTeX

Just a brief post

With the explosive growth of interest in “eBooks” and the use of SVG in EPUB3, I thought it would be worth experimenting to see how “easy” it was to produce SVG directly from typeset Arabic: using LuaTeX. Turns out it is certainly quite possible and an inline SVG example is shown below (OK, it should be displayed on the right-hand side, I know ;-)). This SVG was created using a point size of 100 for all calculations of the SVG “width” and “height” values. No hand editing was done at all, it is exactly as output. Need to finish kerning, vowel placement and cursive positioning in the SVG export functions but I think that should be OK.

Very likely that full mathematical formulae could also be exported directly to SVG using LuaTeX’s node structures: but they are deeply nested and complex so it could be tricky. Quite possibly, LuaTeX offers excellent potential for fully automated eBook production and, of course, print PDF production, from a single TeX source file suitably marked-up.