Re: OT (Kind of): Determining whether Locales are left-to-right or right-to-left.

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Wed Dec 06 2000 - 13:02:08 EST

Michael Kaplan wrote:
> Well, there are lots of other Arabic script locales. Here is from a message
> from Elaine Keown just the other day:
> Arabic Balti Baluchi Berber Farsi Hausa Karaite Kashmiri Kazakh
> Kirghiz Kurmanji Luri Mazanderani Moplah Panjabi---Pakistani Pashto
> Pulaar Sindhi Siraiki (also known as Saraiki or Lahnda or Western Panjabi)
> Sulu Uighur Urdu Uzbek Wolof

Urdu written in Nagari script is left-to-right? This is new to me...

Of course, a similar pitfall exist for a number of others "locales" when one
equates that to the mere language.

OTOH, don't forget the "other" RTL scripts, such as for Thaana (Maldivian,
for the Divehi language) and the Syriac scripts.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Tooke" <>
> I am using Java Servlets to create HTML pages. Is there something that
> will tell me when it is appropriate to generate the HTML in right to left as
> opposed to left to right?

Why do you want to generate HTML in "right to left"?
Isn't HTML just a stream of characters, that runs from "begin" to "end"?

Just do nothing, that's the browser's job to do the visual reversing.
> At the moment it looks like I have to maintain a table of right to left
> locales myself. If that is the way to go, apart from the Arabic (ar);
> Hebrew (he); Urdu (ur) which other locales is it appropriate to set the
> directionality to right-to-left? Is there a standard document somewhere
> that would tell me?

Now, can you tell me how this scheme will handle boustrophedon, until you
know in advance the size of the displaying window...


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