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Re: [i18n review comment] BP3 should recommend locale-neutral representation #187

From: Annette Greiner <amgreiner@lbl.gov>
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 12:04:13 -0700
To: ishida@w3.org, public-dwbp-comments@w3.org
Cc: www International <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <d85cd1b7-d52e-f1e5-b7da-a0388c54d76c@lbl.gov>
Hello on behalf of the DWBP WG,

We're interested in pursuing this concept in our best practice document, 
but we would like some clarification of the practice of locale 
neutrality. You mention the variation across locales in decimal symbol, 
grouping symbol, number of grouping digits, digit shapes, etc., and you 
give an example of a locale-neutral data structure for monetary values. 
But this structure alone does not appear to address differences in 
decimal symbol, grouping symbol, number of grouping digits, or digit 
shapes. It does provide a mechanism to separately specify the units, and 
the example uses an ISO-4217 currency code, both of which we agree are 
good ideas. Is there a broad standard (beyond just monetary) for 
addressing the other symbol/representation issues you raised that we can 
address briefly in our best practice? Do you consider SI units 
consistent with a locale-neutral approach? Is there a locale-neutral 
standard for representing decimal numbers (perhaps using a period and no 
grouping, as in your example)?


On 7/22/16 5:32 AM, ishida@w3.org wrote:
> [raised by aphillips]
> https://www.w3.org/TR/dwbp/#LocaleParametersMetadata
> Best practice #3 introduces itself as:
> > Providing locale parameters helps humans and computer applications 
> to work accurately with things like dates, currencies and numbers that 
> may look similar but have different meanings in different locales.
> But the actual best practice is to use **locale-neutral** 
> representations that are interpreted/displayed to end-users in a 
> locale-appropriate manner. For example, instead of storing the string 
> "€2000.00", exchanging a data structure like the following is strongly 
> preferred:
> ```
> "price" {
>    "value": 2000.00,
>    "currency": "EUR"
> }
> ```
> The date examples given are all in xsd:date format, which is an 
> excellent example of using a locale-neutral format.
> Many things are dependent on locale: decimal symbol, grouping symbol, 
> number of grouping digits, digit shapes, etc. It's because there can 
> be wide variation (sometimes open to misinterpretation) that sending a 
> locale neutral format is preferred for data values. Note also btw that 
> the position of the currency symbol is dependent on the locale. In 
> France it would be normal to write 2000.00 € rather than €2000.00. 
> Same even when talking about USD when using $, ie. 2000.00 $.

Annette Greiner
NERSC Data and Analytics Services
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Received on Thursday, 4 August 2016 19:08:00 UTC

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