Re: please expand re bidi algorithm

From: Roozbeh Pournader (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 08:12:39 EDT

On Mon, 2 Oct 2000, Michael (michka) Kaplan wrote:

> The slash character "/" is in the Unicode Bidi algorithm classified as
> a "European Separator" which means that text would
> be expected to be reversed (i.e. 1/2 would be expected to be 2/1). However,
> the the Farsi language (which uses the Arabic script) the slash is also a
> decimal separator for currency, thus 123.45 would appear as 123/45.

Slash is the date separator in Farsi, and not the decimal separator.
Persian has it's own decimal separator encoded in Unicode: U+066B.
So, 1/2 in Farsi may mean second day of the first month, or one half of a
unit, but surely not 1.2.

Some people haver "misused" the slash as a decimal separator, but that's
not a good reason for a different behaviour. I think that changing the
Bidi behaviour only creates incompatiblity problems, and annoys even the
people who misuse the slash.

> The end result is indeed what a native Farsi speaker
> expects. I would find it unfortunate if this "bug" were "fixed" since it
> would be done at the expense of Farsi users.

No. This is not what a Farsi speaker expects. There are two kinds of Farsi
speakers, professional users, and novice users. Professional users need
compatiblity in different environments, and so they need the behaviour to
be consistent. Novice ones are also not familiar with many other things,
so they will become accustomed to it. Of course, things like the lack of
Farsi decimal separator in Microsoft Farsi keyboard really annoys, and
that may be the reason behind possible non-conformance in some Microsoft

BTW, I've been on mozilla-i18n mailing list which also addresses bidi, and
I have not heard anything about this mis-feature.


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