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RE: Element for Numbers

From: Peter Foti (PeterF) <PeterF@SystolicNetworks.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 12:28:07 -0500
Message-ID: <A10A983C9DFBD4119F0300104B2EA6B725FE06@ZIPPY>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>

Christoph Päper Wrote:
> X.Y The *nr* element

What is nr shorthand for?  I could not find any indication of what this
stands for.  My best guess is "Numeric Representation".

> The nr element indicates that a text fragment is of a numeric 
> kind (e.g.
> date, measurement, price). It may supply a standardized 
> representation of
> the enclosed term and may then be treated as a replaced 
> element: the UA
> replaces the contents by a form best matching the document 
> language and
> user preferences.

If this is the goal, then I think your proposal is overkill.  In addition,
what are the benefits of such a system?

> dim = dimension <!-- could be text [CD] -->
>   This attribute specifies the literal dimension to the value 
> attribute.

I question whether dimension is the best descriptor for this attribute.
Also, you should have put your tables explaining the values of this
attribute before your examples so that users know what it is that they're

>   Table 4: Decimal (and binary) modifier prefixes
> -----+-------+-------------------------------------------------------
>   f    | femto | 10^-15
>   p    | piko  | 10^-12
>   n    | nano  | 10^- 9
>   µ    | mikro | 10^- 6
>   m    | milli | 10^- 3
>   c    | centi | 10^- 2
>   d    | dezi  | 10^- 1
>   D    | deka  | 10^+ 1
>   h    | hekto | 10^+ 2
>   k    | kilo  | 10^+ 3 | 2^10
>   M    | mega  | 10^+ 6 | 2^20
>   G    | giga  | 10^+ 9 | 2^30
>   T    | tera  | 10^+12 | 2^40
>   E    | eta   | 10^+15 | 2^50
> -----+----------------+----------------------------------------------

This table is slightly flawed.  First, the spelling of some of these does
not match the US English spelling of these items (ie - mikro vs. micro).
But more importantly, you have identified 10^+ 3 as being equal to 2^10 (the
last 5 entries all contain similar mistakes).  Note that Decimal Multiples
and Binary Multiples each have their own prefixes and definitions.  2^20 has
the symbol Mi, which means mebi (not mega).

At first I thought, instead of taking this complex approach where 1
container is supposed to cover all sorts of data, why not just take a more
XML-like approach and define containers for each data type?  Of course, this
leads to tag soup, which is bad in it's own way.


For example:
Henry the <ordinal value="7">VII</ordinal> had <int>6</int> wives.

Of course, by your definition, the above example would probably yeild
something like this in an English browser:
Henry the seventh had 6 wives.

because the language definitions are English, and "VII" is not an English
ordinal.  Yet in my example I wanted to show "VII", not "seventh".

In addition, I don't see what benefit this serves.  If I write the entire
page in English, then a French browser might yeild:
Henry the septičme had 6 wives.

If that person does not speak English, then what is the benefit of
translating 1 word?  If I intended for the page to be written in French, I
would have wrote it that way in the first place.  Have you changed the
presentation of the data, or the content.  As you probably know,
presentation is best left to Style Sheets, not HTML.  

What is the benefit of a container for numeric data anyway?  I don't see

Peter Foti
Received on Tuesday, 19 November 2002 12:19:47 UTC

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