# Flow direction of mathematical formula for ar* locales

## Description

Direction of math formula in Arabic speaking countries may be different from what English speaking countries are accustomed to.

In some countries it can be LTR (just like in USA):

x + y = z

While in others it can be RTL:

z = y + x

Some initial information on preferences in different countries is available from: http://www.wiris.com/editor/docs/resources/arabic-numbers-countries

Similarly to NumberingSystem property (which is different in different Arabic speaking countries: "arab" vs "latn"), the suggestion is to define MathFormulaDir property with possible values "ltr" and "rtl". For overwhelming majority of locales it will have "ltr" value. For several Arabic locales it will have "rtl" value.

## xpath

## locale

## Activity

###### Trac Comment 9 by —2018-02-15T18:19:24.053Z

No time to do this : revisit for 34.

###### Trac Comment 6 by —2017-04-19T22:55:04.201Z

“some Arabic speaking prefer a left to right presentation”

Suggestion:“some Arabic-speaking cultures prefer a left to right presentation”

Clarify: “This proposal adds some additional structure to CLDR's DTD to allow applications to format mathematical formulas properly:”

Suggestion: ....provides a good default that the apps can take advantage based on user's settings and culture

###### Trac Comment 5 by —2017-04-19T22:38:53.466Z

Murray gave a Math talk at ICU 40.

Here's some info from Murray, and he'll follow up at the next month's UTC meeting:

See RTL math in the post Directionality in Math Zones: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/murrays/2009/11/12/directionality-in-math-zones/

It lists several references to Azzeddine Lazrek’s work. Might be good to include some of these references in the CLDR proposal.

###### Trac Comment 4 by —2017-04-19T21:14:12.931Z

Approved by CLDR TC on 2017-04-19

###### Trac Comment 2 by tomerm@358a9bbe6ffe1682—2017-03-06T18:59:22.209Z

Some products allow configuration of formula direction (and digits shapes = [Arabic-European|Arabic-Indic,]). For example see: http://www.wiris.com/en/editor/docs/reference/parameters

Very similarly to NumberingSystem property (which standardize default digits shapes for Arabic speaking countries), math formulas should have separate representation in CLDR. This representation can be used as main default to be used by various software packages.