RE: Internationalization--Phone Number Writing Conventions

From: Tony Harminc (
Date: Mon May 31 1999 - 14:12:49 EDT

On 31 May 99, at 11:02, Hohberger, Clive P. wrote:

> I don't disagree... but that's an artifact of software design,
> and I've seen systems where "" also
> clickable. Microsoft Outlook, unfortunately, is the former.
> Certainly if you objective is to make it clickable, that's
> different from properly displaying your web address
> correctly in a magazine or TV ad.

It's largely a matter of context, and in the absence of higher level
tagging it's pretty hard to reliably figure out that a text string
has special significance. Do you want any string containing one or
more dots to be treated as a URL ? Only non-numeric ones ? Those
that begin with www. ? If we are talking about decimal separators
and write "a number of the form x.y" do you want it to be highlighted
and clickable ? How about the swearing of comic book characters -
"Why the !@#$% can't vendor x implement standard y correctly" ? Many
mail readers will highlight that "bad word" as an email address.

I think showing the http:// (now did your reader highlight that ill
formed example?) in print or TV ads is sensible - it sets the context
just as writing Tel: +1 234 567-8901 does.

Tony H.

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