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Re: [html-bidi] Any bidi requirements for MathML (or MathMl in HTML)?

From: Amit Aronovitch <aronovitch@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 22:57:58 +0300
Message-ID: <AANLkTikao3DL_MODjF0SMMXL2BzwETL-B=uWi0--1UFv@mail.gmail.com>
To: Slim Amamou <slim@alixsys.com>
Cc: "Aharon (Vladimir) Lanin" <aharon@google.com>, ntounsi@emi.ac.ma, CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>, ehsan@mozilla.com, addison@lab126.com, bert@w3.org, public-i18n-bidi@w3.org
On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 11:12 AM, Slim Amamou <slim@alixsys.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:08 AM, Aharon (Vladimir) Lanin
> <aharon@google.com> wrote:
> >> Some mathematicians still need to write formulas with Arabic letters,
> e.g.
> >> for publications.
> >
> > What happens when a formula, intended to be displayed left-to-right
> happens
> > to have two RTL variable names around an operator?
> It seems to me there is a convention in symbol usage in mathematics.
> "a", "b" are symbols (not letters) and are used  likewise in arabic
> where appropriate. RTL scripts are never used as symbols in
> mathematics to my knowledge.
> This is verified for math teaching in Tunisia (arabic speaking country).
I would like to mention that the problematic case that was discussed in SII
(as mentioned by Aharon) occurs not in pure mathematical formulas, but in
formulas that appear in texts *intended for non-mathematicians*. For
example: instructions for calculating dosage of medications, formulas for
calculating business profits, for calculating required repetitions of
physical exercises, etc.
In such cases, the authors typically use entire words (or even phrases) in
native language, rather than single character symbols (probably because they
wish to decrease the required "lookup" operations needed by the reader).
In Hebrew texts of this type, some authors use RTL directionality of the
formula while others use LTR direction (though I believe LTR is more common,
there is no prevailing common practice), which can be a source of ambiguity.

This issue is probably not relevant for MathML, but I am interested to know
if this problem occurs also in other RTL languages.

        Amit Aronovitch
Received on Saturday, 21 August 2010 19:58:31 UTC

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