[whatwg] Simple numbers

Mihai Sucan mihai.sucan at gmail.com
Wed Jun 7 05:32:44 PDT 2006

Le Tue, 06 Jun 2006 17:22:11 +0300, Michel Fortin  
<michel.fortin at michelf.com> a écrit:

> Maybe a number element would be valuable, both inside and outside  
> formulas, to provide format-neutral machine-readable numeric values:
>      <n value="123456789.12">123 456 789,12</n>
> But it surly seems a little overkill to write each numeric value twice.  
> Duplicating values seems prone to errors. So maybe a number with a  
> decimal separator attribute would be a better approach:
>      <n dec=",">123 456 789,12</n>
> Beside that, it could provide data on other kinds of numbers too:
>      <n base="16">329F 2CA0</n>


I'd look for a solution via CSS. It is not possible today, but I'd say  
this would be a welcome addition.

I like the idea Michel came up with. However, with a few changes. Yes, the  
value attribute would be overkill.

Similar to the way you can define quotes in CSS, I'd wish we could be able  
to define number format.

<n base="16">329F 2CA0</n>
<n base="10" dec=".">12672611872.7889</n>

and from CSS:

number-format: base group-char decimal-char;

number-format: 32 " " ".";
number-format: 2 none ",";

So, from HTML you define the format in which you provide the number. Then  
 from CSS you can change the base used for displaying, the chars to be used  
for grouping digits and for separating the decimals.

Both attributes are optional. The dec attribute defines the char used for  
separating the decimals (making it easier for the UA to convert the number  
to the new number-format set by CSS).

This way we provide a fall back mecanism for browsers with no support for  
<nr> and the CSS property. CSS 3 Math module would be appropriate for  
adding such a property.

Also, this discussion would probably better fit into www-style mailing  
list. Or ... maybe someone is interested in having this added to HTML 5.

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