[whatwg] Something for the end-user??

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Sat Jun 19 03:39:08 PDT 2004

On 19 Jun, 2004, at 1:29 PM, Dean Edwards wrote:
> ...
> now can someone suggest some suitable date and number formatting 
> patterns please?
> ...

For dates, I suggest "short", "long", and "longwithday". To present 
these, UAs would use the user's preferred short and long date formats 
-- as set for example in the "Regional Settings" control panel in 
Microsoft Windows, and in the "International" System Preferences panel 
in Mac OS X.

This would be the most polite, I think; it would be irritating and 
confusing for Web authors to be able to specify m/d/y format, for 
example, when all the native programs on the user's OS were using d/m/y 
format. (Web authors could use some other method to output a confusing 
format if they really wanted to, but Web Forms shouldn't go out of its 
way to help them.)

Similarly for numbers, I think it would be best not to have any 
patterns, beyond saying "this is a number". The OS already provides 
global settings for what the thousands separator should be and what the 
decimal point should look like; people shouldn't have to re-specify 
these settings, or have them ignored, for every Web application they 
use. And allowing inconsistency with those settings -- for example 
allowing Web authors to specify "," when all the user's native programs 
were using ".", and vice versa -- could cause severe mistakes.

OSes also have settings for displaying currency, but I think these 
would be inappropriate for Web use, because Web sites are often 
referring to currencies other than the user's local one. And prefixing 
or affixing currency symbols hardly needs help from special Web Forms 

Matthew Thomas

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