# CLDR Ticket #11315(new spec)

Opened 2 weeks ago

## Ambiguity regarding exponential and superscriptingExponent

Reported by: | c960657-unicode.org@… | Owned by: | anybody |
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Component: | numbers | Data Locale: | |

Phase: | dsub | Review: | |

Weeks: | Data Xpath: | ||

Xref: |

### 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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