The Arabic computing industry has worked with a number of encoding schemes since the 1960s. The History of Arabic on Computers page lists a number of historic encodings from NCR-64 to ASMO 708 and Windows 1256.

My favorite might be an early 7-bit set which replaced the lower case English letters with Arabic letters (but kept the capiral letters). As the article notes, this worked because “Some printers were not even capable of printing lower case English letters.”

It’s a good thing we’ve moved beyond that.

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