[uf-discuss] Re: Currency + Unit of measurement (Was: Currency+Product)

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Tue Oct 3 14:33:16 PDT 2006

On Oct 3, 2006, at 2:17 PM, Guillaume Lebleu wrote:

> Here are some additional examples  from the Web of currency mixed  
> with measures, some of which differ from the "$__ per barrel"  
> pattern and a suggested new conceptualization that seems to work  
> with them.
> http://microformats.org/wiki/currency-examples#Real-World_Examples
> Here is another suggested conceptualization that seems to match  
> what's on the Web:
> $ is not a unit, $ is a currency. "Dollar" "Cent" are the units of  
> the "USD" currency. Just like length is not a unit, but meter and  
> foot are.
> Currency measures have a default unit (for USD, it's the dollar),  
> that is sometimes omitted in the representation of currency amounts.
> *Example 1*
> So "$25 per barrel" is really "$25 dollar per barrel", but a  
> computer can figure this out from:
> <span class="price"><abbr class="currency" title="USD">$</ 
> abbr><span class="value">25</span> <span class="unitdivider">per</ 
> span> <span class="unit" title="BLL">barrel</span></span></span>
> BLL is the UNECE code for barrel. See http://microformats.org/wiki/ 
> measure-formats#UNECE
> *Example 2*
> "25 (USD per barrel)" is really "25 $ dollar per barrel", "$" is  
> the currency, "dollar per barrel" is the unit but a computer can  
> figure this out from:
> <span class="price">25 (<abbr class="currency" title="USD">USD</ 
> abbr> <span class="unitdivider">per</span> <span class="unit"  
> title="BLL">barrel</span>)</span>
> *Example 3*
> Similarly in "$150K per year" the currency is "$" but the "unit is  
> thousands of dollars per year", but the computer can figure it out  
> from:
> <span class="salary"><abbr class="currency" title="USD">$</ 
> abbr>150<abbr class="unitmultiple" title="1000">K</abbr> <span  
> class="unitdivider">per</span> <span class="unit" title="ANN">year</ 
> span></span></span>
> ANN is the UNECE code for year. See http://microformats.org/wiki/ 
> measure-formats#UNECE
> Let me know what you think. I'll put this on the wiki later.

I think this is a good example of the benefits of modularization.  I  
think all of these various measurements would be more useful if they  
were more widely published, and I think the best way to get them  
widely published is to keep them as separate microformats addressing  
specific problems.  We'll end up missing the most important  
information related to currency if we attempt an ocean-boiling  
currency-and-everything-related microformat.

For example, two of the above examples have no markup indicating the  
value of the price.  It doesn't do much good to know you're talking  
about barrels of oil and US dollars if I don't know what the value  
is.  I assume this was just an oversight, but it's the kind of  
oversight we can avoid by keeping currency focused on currency and  
relegating everything else to more specific microformats (e.g.  
history, measurement, hListing).  $50 is $50 whether I'm spending it  
on a barrel of oil or receiving it for an hour of work.


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