[uf-discuss] Currency microformat

Ben Buchanan wzqtptl02 at sneakemail.com
Wed Jul 19 23:27:31 PDT 2006

> Ben's original statement of the problem, somebody asks
> "$50" for an item, but is that US? Canadian? Australian?
> Why not just write:
> <abbr title="US Dollars">$</abbr>50
> or
> 50 <abbr title="US Dollars">USD</abbr>

I'm wondering if a currency sign/symbol is technically an
abbreviation, since the sign/symbol stands for the complete concept
"dollar". Anyway, it's probably good enough to go on with; but it's a
nagging thought.

Because there is an ISO standard set of currency codes, I think it
makes sense to work that into the system; so the first version would
be out - it uses the converstational version, not the code. The second
seems a little repetitive; although correct.

So <abbr title="USD">$</abbr> might be better to specify the meaning
of the dollar sign, but no more meaning is added than that (we haven't
made it to "fifty US Dollars", just "US Dollars"). Plus, it only
specifies that the letter USD are associated, not that the letters are
actually part of a formal specification (does that make sense? :)).

So the reason for a container beyond that is to associate the unit
with the number and to associate the unit with a standard. Plus it
allows for further development of the microformat.

So... I think <div class="currency USD">$50</div> would work as a shorthand.

It defines
a) we're talking about money - ISO standard implied,
b) we're talking about the USD variety,
c) we're talking fifty units of that money,
d) a parser could work out the numbers and the symbol.

Of course you could use ABBR instead of DIV. This shorthand version
would be parsed much like n/fn in vCard, where certain assumptions are
made if a specific order hasn't been specified.


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