Re: Arabic Numbers in the unidode bi-directioanl Algorithm

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Fri May 15 2009 - 15:49:14 CDT

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    On 15 May 2009, at 21:21, Petr Tomasek wrote:

    >> I'm implementing the Unicode Bidi algorithm (
    >> ) for a project at work and I don't understand why, according to
    >> the spec, Arabic Numbers are displayed Left-to-Right instead of
    >> Right-to-Left.
    > Because arabic numerals ARE written left-to-right. (Historically
    > this is
    > probably due to the fact, that in arabic the the numbers were read
    > starting from the least significant digit, e.g. "three and twenty
    > and hundert"
    > for 123...)

    It would be nice to know how the Arabs view it: are the numbers
    written RTL with the least significant digits first? - In computing,
    this is known as little endian , the occidental variation being big
    endian (after Jonathan Swift's "Lilliput and Blefuscu" story in
    "Gulliverís Travels"). If one knows endianess, it is possible to
    reverse. Some CPUs have capacity to do that on the fly. So it might be
    possible to write Arab numerals logically correct, if that now is
    little endian.

       Hans Aberg

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