Re: Assigning a plane for mapping digits for many different bases

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Mar 09 2011 - 09:24:19 CST

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: Assigning a plane for mapping digits for many different bases"

    No such ambiguity : List separators, if they use a comma, should
    follow it by a space.

    So "1,2" is unambiguously NOT a list of two numbers, but a single
    number; "1, 2" is interpreted exactly the reverse way.

    In technical papers or articles or user guides, intended to be read by
    humans, the locale used in the document will apply simultaneously to
    number formats and list formats.

    But within locales that use the comma as a decimal separator,
    preferably use the semi-colon as the list separator for technical data
    files (for example, CSV files saved and parsed by the French
    localization of Excel, with the defautl settings), because the space
    is ignored and used instead as optional padding. For such technical
    data files, the comma should never be used as a value separator in
    lists (other commonly used list separators are the pipe character (|)
    and the colon in many Unix settings files)

    No ambiguity also within most programming languages (because numeric
    constants are not localizable and use a single syntax, and list of
    values are used for lots of things and almost always use the comma,
    for example in function/method parameters, initializers, declarators,

    2011/3/9 Hans Aberg <>:
    > On 9 Mar 2011, at 12:56, André Szabolcs Szelp wrote:
    >>> Dots are also used for IPv4, but it becomes ambiguous if one needs a fractional part.
    >> Oh, quite a lot of people use "," for fractional parts...
    > The 22nd General Conference on Weights and Measures (2003) declared to use either a "." or a "," (see page below, section "History", last paragraph). Admitting both though creates an ambiguity of 1,2 interpreted as a list of two numbers 1, 2 or a single number 1.2.

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