[uf-discuss] 'currency' microformat straw-man proposal.

Gazza gazza at garyjones.co.uk
Wed Sep 20 15:35:52 PDT 2006

Charles Iliya Krempeaux mumbled the following on 20/09/2006 22:38:

>> >   <abbr class="iso4217 &#164;" title="CAD">$</abbr>5.00

> So a class name like "currency-symbol" or "currency_symbol" would be 
> better.

I've not been following this thread closely, so apologies if this has 
already been dismissed. Andy, or whoever, feel free to add any relevant 
parts to the brainstorming page.

Usually, when talking about currency, the word 'type' is used (see 
xe.com). That, to me, suggests something similar to a previous 
though mine is slightly different:

<span class="currency">
   <span class="type">$</span>
   <span class="value">5.00</span>

(which follows the value excerpting model of using type and value 
classes), or, better:

<span class="currency">
   <abbr class="type" title="CAD">$</abbr>
   <span class="value">5.00</span>

If the formatting of a currency is such that the type symbol comes after 
the value, then simply swap the order of the type and value elements.

I do think that the use of "type" and "value" classes would be better 
than "currency_symbol" and "amount". It follows the same as other 
elemental formats and, even ISO4217 has codes for "currencies" that 
don't use symbols:

<span class="currency">
   <span class="value">23</span> ounces of
   <abbr class="type" title="XAG">Gold</abbr>

Following on from this, the use of a "money" class should not be used; 
currency does not _have_ to be money, and having a "metal" class starts 
to make it convoluted. Type and value work fine.

If there was one further issue, perhaps an "amount" class could be used 
instead of type & value:

<span class="currency">
   <span class="amount">£14 6s 4d</span>

<span class="currency">
   <span class="amount">50 pence</span>

I don't think any mention of ISO4217 is needed within the code though; 
it could be accepted as the default way of doing it, in the same way 
ISO8601 is used for dates, and whatever co-ordinate system is used in 
geo, etc.

If you include the "iso4217" within class names, and a new standard 
comes along (countries merging/splitting, changing to single/other 
currencies etc) then you'll need to change all your class names - not a 
good situation.

> But... "&#164;" or "&curren;" or "¤" actually means "currency symbol".
> (It's a pictograph for it.)
> And since I'm guessing this is a language neutral way of saying
> "currency symbol", I thought it was better.

The majority / rest of microformats are in English, so why start trying 
to be different now?

> It just tells you what format you are going to use to specify the
> currency (in the "title").  There are other formats for specifying
> currencies besides these 3 letter codes.  (Like there are different
> ways of specifying distances... like "miles", "kilometers", "light
> years", etc.)

Those could be considered "types" of distance, rather than the group of 
types that your ISO4217 refers to. You wouldn't specify Metric, 
Imperial, SI etc when referring to a distance?

A quick look at the straw man proposal[1], I can see that my above 
examples may need work to cover older, now un-used forms of currency. 
But then how far do we go back in time? Back to when camels were used as 
a form of currency? How about localised monetary systems back in 
Medieval times? Or shall we be sensible and stick with what the 
international financial world recognises, by sticking to only those 
currencies listed in ISO4217?

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/currency-brainstorming#Straw_man_proposal

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list