Issue #86811: Arabic numbers instead of decimal numbers

Issue #86811 is still of my top priorities this week, as it causes a major problem for Hebrew speaking users of As I can’t fix the code myself, I’m focusing on explaining that this is a major problem and it should be fixed in the 2.4.1 release.

Before explaining more about the bug, let me clear a bit some terminologies: Arabic numbers are the numbers you know from English and most languages (including Hebrew). Hindu numbers are the one in use by the Arabic languages (Arabic, Persian, Urdu, etc). Notice that this is confusing as the numbers in the Arabic languages aren’t Arabic numbers but Hindu numbers.

Issue #86811 is about how does handles numbers during import of Microsoft Word documents. The current problem is that during the import, the numbers change from Arabic to Hindu. This makes it impossible for Hebrew speaking users to read Microsoft Word documents which include numbers. See screenshots attached to issue #87625 (dup of #86811).

As in Israel there is still a majority for Microsoft Office over, this makes users isolated from getting documents from other people. This is the real reason for changing the bug priority to a higher one.

Issue #86811 currently have 80 votes (and counting)… Some Linux users are even trying to convince their distributions to exclude version 2.4.0 from their coming release (See Ubuntu bug #210204 and Mandriva bug #38874). I personally think that this is wrong, as 2.4.0 should be included in the upcoming releases, but we should work hard to get 2.4.1 into those distributions when the fix for #86811 is ready.


Hello planet (:


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5 responses to “ Issue #86811: Arabic numbers instead of decimal numbers

  1. lior: way upgrade ? to 2.4 what’s wrong with 2.3.x ?

    can’t we just wait some more time and use 2.3.x until OOo fix this issue and then upgrade.

    especially, when TK’s OO 2.3.1 is better in hebrew support then 2.4 !

    i’m sure the OOo people will fix this issue. and i don’t think we should spend more time around it (maybe i am wrong, please correct me) let’s move on and find more issues that are hidden a little deeper 🙂

    most important of all… send good vibes to those programmers who fix this ugly bug 🙂

  2. שי

    Hi Lior,

    You said about trying to prevent distributions from releasing with 2.4.0:
    I personally think that this is wrong, as 2.4.0 should be included in the upcoming releases, but we should work hard to get 2.4.1 into those distributions when the fix for #86811 is ready.
    I think this kind of thinking applies to rolling distributions (like Debian Sid), but it’s a problem when applied to distros with release cycles. For example, if Hardy is released with this bug, it will not be fixed in Ubuntu until 8.10. And 8.04 is not a “regular” version, but LTS. That’s why I submitted Ubuntu #210204.

    Have you missed that, or is there some argument for your position that I am missing?

  3. Lior Kaplan

    Nadav – The major distributions will include 2.4.0 in their coming releases. So the Linux users will get 2.4.0. Sure, they can downgrade to TK’s 2.3.1, but most of them just use what ever comes with the distribution.

    Do forget the as TK doesn’t have funding any more, they won’t maintain 2.3.1 if problems will be found.

    Shay – Debian unstable is just the base for Testing which will be Lenny (stable) soon enough.

    I understand you about the LTS issue, but even LTS releases have it’s updates repository (same as dapper).

    Anyway, mentioning this problem in the release errata is a good idea which comes from Mandriva.

  4. Shai

    If I thought that Lenny was going to include 2.4.0 (and not 2.4.1 or something later), I would file a similar bug against Debian too.

    Ubuntu does not, as a rule, update software in a ‘done’ release. As an example, the OOo version in Gutsy is 1:2.3.0-1ubuntu5; in gutsy-updates it is 1:2.3.0-1ubuntu5.3. 2.3.1 was released on Dec. 4 2007 — but in four months, gutsy wasn’t updated.

    Mentioning the problem in the errata may be a good idea if you think the improvements of 2.4.0 over 2.3.1 outweigh #86811, *and* you intend to upgrade as soon as the problem is fixed. I disagree with the first, and Ubuntu seems to disagree with the second.

  5. Lior Kaplan

    According to Rene (the Debian maintainer) Lenny is expected to include 2.4.0.

    I don’t know about 2.4.1 for Lenny, but let’s say it won’t get in. We can always try and get the patch which fixes #86811 into Lenny’s 2.4.0. Same for Ubuntu.

    You can open the bug in Debian, I think it will be tagged as “won’t fix”. But you can just try (:

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