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RE: controlling digits substitution in IE/FF (Arabic/Hindi/Decimal)

From: Jonathan Rosenne <rosennej@qsm.co.il>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 10:27:34 +0300
To: "'David Woolley'" <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>, <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002501c9e353$9b007920$d1016b60$@co.il>
In Arabic, the traditional digits are called Hindi, and the modern western
style digits are the Arabic digits.

Jony

-----Original Message-----
From: David Woolley [mailto:forums@david-woolley.me.uk] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 10:07 AM
To: Jonathan Rosenne
Cc: www-international@w3.org; www-style@w3.org
Subject: Re: controlling digits substitution in IE/FF (Arabic/Hindi/Decimal)

Jonathan Rosenne wrote:
> In some areas of the world, Hindi digits are used. In other areas, Arabic
> digits are used. When someone looks at a web page in Arabic, he could be

There are no specifically Hindi digits.  Each Indic script (e.g. 
including Thai) tends to have its own digits.  Hindi is written in 
Devanagari script, but Marathi is also written in that script.

Also, in English, "Arabic numerals" is commonly used to refer to 
distinction between a place value system with a zero and the old Roman 
numeral system, not to to the actual Arabic glyphs.

> expected to see the digits he is used to.
> 
> The viewer's preference may be independent of the preference of the
> originator of the web page.

That requires semantic mark up for numbers.  In particular, for Chinese, 
  serial numbers, and even things like bus route numbers, are 
represented as a string of digits, whereas numerical numbers have 
multipliers embedded.  In English, this happens when speaking numbers, 
but not when writing them.  (Note that, in real life, European style 
numbers are used in China.)

It would make sense for telephone numbers to be presented right to left 
in Arabic, even though numeric numbers have their most significant digit 
on the right.  I don't know the actual situation.

> 
> The exceptions are when the viewer does not care, or when the author of
the
> web page wants to indicate specifically which form to use, for example in
> explaining the relationship between the two systems.
> 


-- 
David Woolley
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Received on Tuesday, 2 June 2009 07:28:11 GMT

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