[Python-Dev] Python and the Unicode Character Database

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Thu Dec 2 23:58:07 CET 2010

Alexander Belopolsky wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 4:14 PM, M.-A. Lemburg <mal at egenix.com> wrote:
> ..
>> Have you tried Google ?
> I tried google at I could not find any plain text or HTML file that
> would use Arabic-Indic numerals.  What was interesting, though that a
> search for "quran unicode" (without quotes).  Brought me to
> http://www.sacred-texts.com which says that they've been using unicode
> since 2002 in their archives.  Interestingly enough, their version of
> Qur'an uses ordinary digits for ayah numbers.  See, for example
> <http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/uq/050.htm>.
> I will change my mind on this issue when you present a
> machine-readable file with Arabic-Indic numerals and a program capable
> of reading it and show that this program uses the same number parsing
> algorithm as Python's int() or float().

Have you had a look at the examples I posted ? They include texts
and tables with numbers written using east asian arabic numerals.

Here's an example of a a famous Chinese text using Chinese numerals:


Unfortunately, the Chinese numerals are not listed in the Category "Nd",
so Python won't be able to parse them. This has various reasons, it
seems, one of them being that the numeral code points were not defined
as range of code points.

I'm sure you can find other books on mathematics in sanscrit or
arabic scripts as well.

But this whole branch of the discussion is not going to go anywhere.

The point is that we support all of Unicode in Python, not just a fragment,
and therefore the numeric constructors support all of Unicode.

Using them, it's very easy to support numbers in all kinds of variants,
whether bound to a locale or not.

Adding more locale aware numeric parsers and formatters to the
locale module, based on these APIs is certainly a good idea,
but orthogonal to the ongoing discussion, IMO.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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