Why is quran package installed by default on Texlive2020

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Fri May 15 19:24:09 CEST 2020

A couple of years ago a different person asked on the MacTeX list why the Koran was in MacTeX. Here's the answer I gave. 

In most countries, there is a connection between the religion of the country and its culture, so people interested in typesetting will find themselves consulting religious documents. To take a famous example, Hàn Thế Thành wrote his thesis on character protrusion and font expansion as used in the Gutenberg bible, and on adding these features to pdfTeX. 

Arabic, I am told, is the only script which has only a cursive form. This makes it difficult to typeset. The first Arabic typesetting was done for newspapers, and was apparently rather crude. The golden standard for Arabic script is the Koran, so it is natural that TeX experts wanting to create really beautiful Arabic typesetting used it as a model. That is why the document is in TeX Live.

Thanks to Arthur Reutenauer for calling this connection to everyone's attention.

Richard Koch

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