currency-examples

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Currency Examples

The following are real-world examples and brainstorming for marking up currency.

The Problem

The problem: how to explicitly specify a) that a figure/number relates to money; b) the currency of a stated figure; and c) the period in which that figure was current.

Converting currency figures is a reasonably easy problem to solve as indicated by the #Existing_Practices. However many automated conversion tools must make assumptions about the original figure's currency -- e.g. assuming a USD for all uses of $, or British Pounds for £ (which is also sometimes used to denote Lira).

Currency Changes

I wish to expand on one of the points mentioned above: there might be two or more currencies in the same country: e.g. in Romania

Although the three letter code is different in this case, the currency is often given as Lei. There are other countries, where similar examples exist/existed. The two currencies might have an identical name, yet they have 2 very different meanings. Usually there is a difference of 3-4 orders of magnitude between the old currency and the new currency. discoleo


Related problems

"Amounts" in arbitrary units is a bit harder and necessary for several applications.

For example, consider the work that has been done on a recipe microformat.

recipe-examples

Though we haven't reached this problem yet in the research, I can see it coming:

Say you wanted to create a "shopping list" application which you could tell which recipes you wanted to cook, and have it automatically total up all the various amounts of ingredients and give you the net amount of stuff you wanted to pick up.

It would need to be able to determine precise amounts/units of each ingredient. This might turn out to be like the currency problem, or it might be more complex, given the variety of units used in recipes, English vs. metric etc. That's a case that might need a microformat. We need more research and analysis to really justify it, but I can see it within the realm of probable possibility.

Use of currency amounts in tables

Representing currency amounts in a table format is very common. For instance, see Google Financials.

In this table representation, it does not make sense to provide the currency information for each cell. Instead, it should be provided once at the table, thead, tr, or th, level, and then a td may override the default value. This is very similar to the common practice of indicating the currency and formatting in plain english: "Numbers in thousands of dollars" in the table title/subtitle or legend.

The microformat for currency amounts should provide a way to represent a default currency for all children of a table, thead, tr, or th nodes. The currency symbol/abbreviation should be optional in for elements defined as containing currency values/amounts, if a default currency has been defined in one of the ancestor elements.

Contributors

Real-World Examples

Links to public web pages, either popular or insightful

UK Government Data Standards Catalogue

The associated XML Schema seems to suggest an Amount element, followed by a fixed Currency element of "GBP".

SkypeOut Pricing

2.1 US cents/2.4 CAN cents per minute
(on the Web page)
¢2.1 USD (or ¢2.4 CAD) per minute.
(in the announcement email)

See also measure

MIT Enterprise Forum

$1 million in equity
$2.50 a share

See also measure

Energy Information Administration

23 cents per barrel

Also in this page:

(U.S. Cents per Gallon)
(Euros per Thousand Liters)
(U.S. Dollars per Gallon)

See also measure

CBCNews

$63.94 US per barrel, up $1.63 US

Google Finance

The current price of a stock:

<span class="pr">401.90</span>

eBay

eBay marks prices as "ebcPr". eBay c? Price.

<td class="ebcPr"><span class="bold">$11.70</span><br/><span>$12.95</span><br/></td>

Google

The Google Web Authoring Statistics mentions that "price" is the 40th most used class name.

Something like:

<span class="price">$39.99</span>

McAfee

<span class="price">$39.99 <span class="currency">(USD)</span></span>

Amazon

<td class="price">$34.85</td>

Bell Canada in French Canadian

<b>Niveau de service Premium - 125 $*</b>

Note the placement of the dollar sign AFTER the number.

Bell Canada in US English

<b>Premium Service Level - $125*</b>

Historic prices

Existing Practices

Firefox Extension

Firefox Currency Converter - ViewMyCurrency

Note: the current bug list illustrates some problems of identifying currencies based on page content alone:

  • All $ symbols are treated as USD Very annoying if you are Australian, Canadian etc. (Needs a new feature)
  • ‘Euro 2006 Championship’ should not be converted.
  • ...
  • Don’t convert CVS keywords . $Revision: 1.3 $ should not be treated as dollars.

Greasemonkey Scripts

Exchequer

Yahoo! Finance Currency Converter

Relevant Standards

ISO 4217 Codes


See also

Related pages

currency-examples was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

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