# RE: Element for Numbers

From: Peter Foti (PeterF) <PeterF@SystolicNetworks.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 13:06:03 -0500
Message-ID: <A10A983C9DFBD4119F0300104B2EA6B725FE0B@ZIPPY>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
```
Christoph Päper Wrote:
> > I question whether dimension is the best descriptor for
> this attribute.
>
> Provide a better name, English is not my native language.

If I had to choose, I would vote for "unit".

> > But more importantly, you have identified 10^+ 3 as being
> equal to 2^10
>
> No, I defined (or wanted to define) 'k' as prefix character
> for either 10^3
> or 2^10, depending on whether the following unit is 'B' /
> 'bit' or not.
>
> > Note that Decimal Multiples and Binary Multiples each have their own
> > prefixes and definitions.  2^20 has the symbol Mi, which means mebi
>
> Funny. I've never seen or heard of those, not even in the concerned
> lectures.

Yes, the difference between 2^20 and 10^3 can be somewhat troublesome to
deal with.  Toby Inkster suggested that the Binary Multiples were proposed
but never adopted.  Note that they are not SI prefixes, but have been
adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and there are
links to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) page
regarding Binary Multiples located on the Bureau International des Poids et
Mesures (BIPM) website, the heart of the International System of Units (SI).
The difference between 2^20 and 10^3 has to be taken into consideration in
your numbering system, and I don't think kB vs. kbit is the correct
approach.

> > 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.
>
> Okay, my definition wasn't the best. But imagine an aural
> browser, it won't
> read "Henry vee" any more

It seems as though aural browsers are the primary benefactor from this
system.

> > Yet in my example I wanted to show "VII", not "seventh".
>
> But you don't read it like that.

I don't read it like that, but I do write it like that.  How would you
propose a visual UA makes the determination of when to replace the data and
when not to?  It seems to me that there is a distinction between what an
aural UA should present and what a visual UA should present (hmm...
presentation again).  Again, I think that aural browsers are the primary
benefactor (and possibly the ONLY benefactor) in this proposal.  Could this
possibly be an issue that would be better handled by style sheets?

> > a French browser might yeild: Henry the septième had 6 wives.
>
> Replacement isn't everytime wanted or useful. That should be
> defined more
> clearly.

I agree.

> > What is the benefit of a container for numeric data anyway?
>
> Like I said before:
> · combine value and unit,

And what is the benefit of combining the value and unit?

> · ease translation, conversion and speech rendering,
> · remove ambiguities (How much is one ton? 1000kg or 2000lbs?),

Removing ambiguities... I assume you mean through a tooltip?  For example,
the user is presented with "1 ton", and the tool tip says "2000lbs" (or
whatever it was that was encoded into the tag)?  I think this is putting too
much into your element, but I find the idea of a tool tip to be a good one
that could perhaps be applied to HTML as a separate item.  For example:
My car weighs <tooltip value="2000lbs"><nr>1 ton</nr></tooltip>.  But don't
take <tooltip value="Peter Foti">my</tooltip> word for it...

Regards,
Peter Foti

```
Received on Wednesday, 20 November 2002 12:57:36 UTC

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