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

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Wed Mar 09 2011 - 10:15:25 CST

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

    From: [] On Behalf Of David Starner

    > There's enough advocates for duodecimal systems that I could make a case
    > for Unicode encoding, provided Unicode was willing to unify massively
    > disparate glyphs.

    I don't think an acceptable case can be made. Numbers are abstract quantities. Presenting a number using duodecimal digits is a matter of _presentation_.

    You should think of this in just the same way that dates are handled in software: dates are represented in processing using integers or dedicated date/time data types (which are also numeric in nature), but when displayed to the user get formatted as a string using a particular presentation convention. When a form as a field for the user to enter a date as a string, that string then gets parsed to determine (as best as possible) what date the user intended and then the derived date value gets stored or processed in its internal numeric datatype.

    Similarly, duodecimal digits are a presentation convention for numbers. This is true even for numbers presented using decimal digits: a software process will represent it as a numeric data type such as an integer and then format it as a string using those digits (with or without additional formatting) to present to a user; and when the user enters a decimal-digit string in a form, software will parse that to derive the numeric data type used internally.

    For a presentation convention, the existing characters are completely adequate. The existing characters are also fully adequate for document content that will never undergo that kind of processing described above; moreover, it's what people are certainly going to be typing since they have been doing so with existing keyboards and fonts for years.


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