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[whatwg] Simple numbers

From: Keryx webb <webmaster@keryx.se>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 12:37:17 +0200
Message-ID: <44855ADD.1030602@keryx.se>
Hello

My first post to this list and since I'm mainly lurking to learn, this will be 
simple.

I have personally (and currently) no need to write any advanced mathematical 
formulas, but would like to have simple but large numbers formatted in an usable 
and accessible way.

If I write 54367534196.143 it is hard to read. In English this would be easier 
for most users:
54,367,534,196.143

In Swedish we write it this way:
54 367 534 196,143

However, there are two problems.

1. The number might be split across two lines (bad usability):
... yadda yadda yadda 54 367
534 196.143

2. The number will not be spoken correctly using speech synthesis (bad 
accessibility for some). Instead of "54 billion 367 million 534 thousand 196 
point 143" it would probably say:
54
367
534
196,143

The first problem is easily remedied. Wrap in a span and apply CSS "white-space: 
nowrap" or (not quite as elegant) use non-breaking space.

There are issues also with i18n. What is needed is some CSS rule that can be 
used in a similar fashion to XSLT's format-number() or (dare I say it) 
mso-number-format. If UAs knew that they dealt with a number, they might infer 
from the current language what separates decimals from integers. Using selectors 
for language and mediaspecific styles we could have numbers easily readable for 
all sighted users and easily understood by blind users as well.

Lars Gunther
Received on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 03:37:17 UTC

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