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Armenian list numbering: Help needed

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 16:02:37 +0100
To: <www-international@w3.org>, <unicode@unicode.org>
Message-ID: <023e01c7d44c$ffdee830$6501a8c0@rishida>

Since it is mentioned in the CSS 2.1 specification, Firefox, Opera and Safari (and maybe more) browsers allow you to number HTML lists using Armenian numerals. 

The basic algorithm followed is described in the CSS3 Lists module. 

You can see some tests and results. 

Some questions have arisen about a couple of details relating to the approach specified in CSS3, and we would like to get clarity from people with appropriate knowledge of this subject.  Please participate in the email discussion if you can help.

In a recent email [1] Simon Montagu expresses the questions as follows: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_numerals, which quotes no sources, corresponds to the implementation in Firefox and Opera (upper-case characters and only Ւ for 7000).

is an article from National Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 13, No. 8 (May, 1939). I don't have access to download the full article, but the URI shows the first page, which includes a table showing lower-case characters and only ւ for 7000.

Furthermore, there are contradictions in http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-lists/ -- the prose description of the algorithm says:

"This is a simple additive system defined for the range 1 to 99999999. 
The digits are split into two groups of four (if there are less than eight digits, the least significant group is filled first). Within each group, appropriate digits are picked from the following list (at most one per column) and written in descending order by value (thousands first). Any characters in the most significant group are then combined with a circumflex accent, ◌̂ U+0302."

This implies that the circumflex has the effect of multiplying by 10000, but the following example uses the circumflex to multiply by 1000:

"Example 1: Decimal 7482951 in lower-armenian is ու̂ն̂ձ̂սջծա U+0578 U+0582 
U+0302 U+0576 U+0302 U+0571 U+0302 U+057D U+057B U+056E U+0561. "

If the example is correct, the system will only be defined up to
9,999,999 and not 99,999,999. Digits from 1000 to 9000 would also have two possible representations: either ռ ս ... or ա̂ բ̂ ... and it isn't clear whether one should be preferred or either may be used.

Please provide advice on the representation of 7000 and of numbers above 9,999.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-i18n-core/2007JulSep/0049.html

Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 15:00:54 UTC

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