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Re: [counter-styles] i18n-ISSUE-285: Hebrew number converter inadequate for numbers >= 1000

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:38:51 +0000
Message-ID: <5270FDDB.6000506@w3.org>
To: Aryeh Gregor <ayg@aryeh.name>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: W3C Style <www-style@w3.org>, www International <www-international@w3.org>
Perhaps it would also make sense to change the range from

range: 1 infinite;

to something more indicative of expectations for use.


On 30/10/2013 11:50, Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 3:41 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Hebrew system was originally defined this way, as a custom system,
>> as it can't be reasonably represented in the current algorithms the
>> way you describe.  I was told by another Hebrew speaker (Aryeh Gregor)
>> that the form the spec currently specifies, with repeated tavs, is
>> acceptable.
> I don't recall what exactly I said in the past, but to clarify: the
> form currently specified is fine for any sane list, since it works
> fine up to 1000.  It's also fine even for numbers that go somewhat
> beyond that point, such as page numbers in long books -- just a few
> days ago I saw a page number in a book that was something like תתתרחצ
> (‎= 1498).  I think this is probably what the CSS spec's numbering
> system will be used for, so I do think it's acceptable.  (I wouldn't
> even call א'תצח correct for 1498 as a page number.  I've never seen
> that convention used for page numbering.)
> The system described by the spec is not acceptable for encoding
> arbitrary numbers in arbitrary contexts, but there are other problems
> with that anyway.  For instance, a number in running text has an extra
> geresh (single apostrophe) or gershayyim (double apostrophe) inserted,
> like כ"ו for 26 and נ'‏ for 50.  Only in a context like a page number
> or list number where a number is the only expected thing do you drop
> the geresh/gershayyim -- otherwise the extra mark is needed to alert
> you to the fact that it's a number and not a word.  Also, the
> convention for year numbers (the most common large numbers you find)
> is most often to drop the thousands place entirely, so 5776 is
> typically תשע"ד rather than ה'תשעד, except in historical contexts that
> actually go back to the 4000s.
> So the spec does not deal with Hebrew numbering perfectly, but I think
> it's perfectly reasonable for the intended use-cases.  A one-line note
> might be worth adding so people are aware this has been considered.
Received on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 12:39:21 UTC

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