W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > January to March 2009

Re: Urgent call for clarification of Armenian numbering rules

From: Thomas Phinney <thomas.phinney@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 12:17:51 -0800
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0901291217o25afc560t14806ac09f4815f4@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kent Karlsson <kent.karlsson14@comhem.se>
Cc: unicode@unicode.org, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, www-international@w3.org, kode@hotbox.ru, www-style@w3.org

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM, Kent Karlsson
<kent.karlsson14@comhem.se> wrote:
>
>
> 2009-01-29 17.10, "Andreas Prilop" <andreasprilopwww@trashmail.net> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 29 Jan 2009, Richard Ishida wrote:
>>
>>> CSS 2.1 allows you to number list items using Armenian numbers,
>>> but doesn't provide any details about how that works.
>>
>> There are just different conventions - similar to British English
>> and American English. From a practical point of view, it is important
>> to note that the mapping
>>    U+0552  -->  7000
>>    U+0582  -->  7000
>> is *unambiguous*.
>> However, the sequences
>>    U+0548 U+0552
>>    U+0578 U+0582
>> may denote either 7000 or 7600.
>>
>>  http://www.user.uni-hannover.de/nhtcapri/armenian-alphabet.html
>>  http://freenet-homepage.de/prilop/armenian-alphabet.html
>
> Those two (same!) pages that you have written seem to say that U+0548 U+0552
> (as well as U+0578 U+0582) *unambiguously* mean 7600.
>
> That, as well as the 7005 example on your page(s) brings up the question of
> letter order: big endian, little endian, or arbitrary, or just these two
> little-endian exceptions to bigendian (or similar).
>
>    /kent k

I passed this question on to Armenian typographer and type designer
Hrant Papazian. He writes us as follows:

The problem with
http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-lists/#lower-armenian
is that U+0582 is all you need to represent 7000.
That page seems to be relying on the reformed
alphabet used in Armenia proper (although not at
all consistently). The thing is that pretty much all
Armenians are aware of the traditional layout, and
they run into it in daily life (like when they go to an
Armenian church, where a display of the traditional
alphabet is de rigueur) so there's no big worry about
people not getting what U+0582 is in the numbering.

U+0582 is a normal part of Armenian text, it's just
that in the reform spelling it only happens after a
U+0578 so some people like to reflect that in the
alphabet itself. The problem is that if you have a text
that uses U+0582 without a U+0578 preceding it (for
example from the Diaspora, or somebody older than
the reform :-) the reform alphabet is stuck. That's the
reason the Unicode standard shows just U+0582 for
that letter; you can then build whatever you need.

In fact I've personally never seen U+0578 prefixing
U+0582 in Armenian numbering, I guess because it's
by nature an archaic thing so the reform doesn't jive.

BTW, U+0587, the Armenian ampersand also has a
similar confused identity, sometimes featuring before
the last two letters of the alphabet (which were added
later in its history), sometimes at the end, and some-
times nowhere. Some people have even insisted that
it needs a capital form. But fortunately it doesn't seem
to be messing with the numbering system at least!  :-)

> all but IE8 CR1 default to uppercase
> rather than the specified lowercase.

Since Armenian numbering is older than the Armenian
lowercase set, that's not so bad. On the other hand for
stylistic reasons it's worth supporting lc numbering.

I hope this helps,
Hrant
Received on Thursday, 29 January 2009 20:18:28 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 2 June 2009 19:17:19 GMT