Re: “alphabetical” ordering of hot tags
By the way, I have no idea how many characters there are in the alphabets you are trying to order, but if the number is not too crazy, in theory you could make a string of the alphabetical character order you want (single characters in a row) and then write your own sort routine to sort based on the example string you give it. The sort won’t be as fast as the built in ones in PHP but you’ll get the order you want.
If the problem is just different languages getting mixed up, what you could do is break up the tag array into multiple arrays of the different languages sets, sort each language, and then build a resulting array of appending one language array to the other, instead of sorting/mixing them together.
I do some fancy things with the hot tag list too and what I do is cache the final result to disk instead of generating it each and every time. When a new tag is added I just delete the cache and have it regenerate. Depending on how slow your sort is, you could use that approach, but first see if you can get the sort working.