[uf-discuss] Currency microformat

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Thu Jul 20 10:56:55 PDT 2006

In message <18232-97248 at sneakemail.com>, Ben Buchanan
<wzqtptl02 at sneakemail.com> writes
>> 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.

Would you argue with, say:

        "pounds sterling" and "Great British Pounds" can both be
        abbreviated to "£"


>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").

Indeed, but in:

        <abbr title="USD">$</abbr>50

the numeric value is still available, to both human and machine.

I do though, have reservations about torturing the abbreviation-title
attribute like that; USD is itself an abbreviation, and the title
should, in full, be "United States Dollars".

Once again, consider the (potential or optional) use of a screen reader/
aural browser, which pronounces title attributes.

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

>Of course you could use ABBR instead of DIV.

Like this:

        <abbr class="currency USD" title="fifty United States


Further thoughts:

I presume that agents would not be troubled by paragraph including:

        "<abbr title="US Dollars">$</abbr>50 or <abbr title="Canadian

any more than, say:

        "<abbr title="International Business Machines">IBM</abbr> or
        <abbr title="Idiotic Business Management">IBM</abbr>"

(though neither is human-friendly).

Where the 'nationality' of the currency needs to be shown to a human,
'$US 50' is:

                <abbr title="US Dollars">$US</abbr> 50

but what about '$50 US' ?

Though, again:

                <currency type="US Dollars">50</currency>

could be styled as:

        USD 50
        $US 50
        $50 US
        50 dollars
        50 US dollars

as required.
Andy Mabbett
                Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards:  <http://www.no2id.net/>

                Free Our Data:  <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>

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