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CLDR Ticket #11315(new spec)

Opened 2 weeks ago

Ambiguity regarding exponential and superscriptingExponent

Reported by: c960657-unicode.org@… Owned by: anybody
Component: numbers Data Locale:
Phase: dsub Review:
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Description

UTS #35, Part 3, is ambiguous on when to use exponential or superscriptingExponent when formatting numbers in scientific notation.

Section 2.3:
Programmers are used to the fallback exponent style “1.23E4”, but that should not be shown to end-users. Instead, the exponential notation superscriptingExponent should be used to show a format like “1.23 × 10⁴”.

Section 3.4:
Example: "0.###E0" formats the number 1234 as "1.234E3".

These two sections seem to contradict each other.

Also, the term “fallback exponent style” in 2.3 is not defined/mentioned elsewhere in the spec.

The majority of locales defines exponential as E, even though this symbol is never supposed to be shown to end users, according to section 2.3. To confuse matters more, some locales (e.g. sv), define exponential as ”×10”.

All locales define superscriptingExponent as either · or ×. However, simply replacing E with superscriptingExponent will generate the string “1.23×⁴”, not “1.23 × 10⁴”. The whitespace around × and 10 is not described explicitly.

The spec needs to be more explicit on how to use superscriptingExponent in formatting patterns containing E.

Would it make sense to introduce a new symbol, EE, so that E and EE refer to the two different ways of formatting numbers?

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