Re: Encoding of Numbers Composed of Decimal Digits (General Category of Nd)

From: Michael Probst <>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 13:46:20 +0200

Am Samstag, den 28.04.2012, 13:18 +0100 schrieb Richard Wordingham:
> Is it anywhere stated as policy that numbers written by a string of
> decimal digits will be encoded with the most significant digit first in
> storage order? I couldn't find it stated anywhere.

Isn't this about encoding characters, mapping computer readable numbers
to human readable characters (which may be digits), but not about
encoding numbers, just as this is not about encoding words? Arabs store
(and read, and understand) the least significant digit of a number
first, on the right, on paper. An English translation of that text would
store (on paper) the most significant digit on the left where it would
be read and understood first. The numbers (in the texts) would look and
mean the same, but be synthesised and analysed in opposite directions.

        "although digits run the other way, making the scripts
        inherently bidirectional"


I don't think people writing Ivrit or Arabic perceive their writing as

> As positional notation only seems to have been invented and propagated
> once or twice (Babylonian and Indian inventions),

I don't think the Mayas copied this idea from ;-)

Hoping not to be completely mistaken

Received on Mon Apr 30 2012 - 06:53:37 CDT

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