[uf-new] ISO-31-1

Scott Reynen scott at makedatamakesense.com
Thu Aug 7 06:43:07 PDT 2008

On [Aug 7], at [ Aug 7] 3:25 , Glenn Jones wrote:

> Last but not least you have also just walked into the internalisation
> issue from the "Human and machine readable data format" debate. Not  
> all
> languages use the Arabic numerals ie 0,1,2, 3 etc
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_numerals
> Although most people will understand Arabic numerals and you find them
> mixed in with languages like Chinese, it's still an issue that need
> thought.

I strongly disagree here.  I think you'd have a hard time finding a  
single person in either Japan or China who both understands what a  
computer is (i.e. not counting extreme rural isolation) and is not  
very familiar with Arabic numerals.  You can't buy a computer in  
either country without using either cash or credit cards covered in  
Arabic numerals.  It's very likely you're also scanning a bar code  
with Arabic numerals and/or getting a receipt with Arabic numerals.   
Your clock, television, vehicle, phone, and ID card all use Arabic  
numerals.  And when you turn your computer on, you'll see many more  
Arabic numerals (e.g. in the version number of your operating  
system).  So I'd say a person looking at using microformats but  
unfamiliar with Arabic numerals goes well beyond an edge case.

Scott Reynen

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