Re: Not all Arabics are created equal...

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 01:01:46 EDT

John Cowan wrote:

> No, what I am trying to nail down is whether the LSD is represented
> first in the Unicode datastream or last. European digits are represented
> with the MSD first and the LSD last. What's the story with Arabic
> digits? Without knowing that, I can't evaluate a string of Arabic
> digits for value.


All decimal digits, including both sets of Arabic digits, are evaluated in
MSD-first order.

> The only remedy I can see for this particular flaw in Unicode is the
> introduction of a codepoint to set or maybe swap the evaluation rule for
> number strings.
> -gregg

While theoretically we could have had Arabic digits in LSD-first order, we saw
no reason to deviate from then-existing practice in Arabic computing. To enable
consistent interoperability we used MSD order. This is also a conformance
requirement of the BIDI algorithm, and has been for many years. It would cause
no end of disruption to try to change it, and for no real overall benefit.

You may consider it a flaw, but I see no chance that it will change.

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