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*Subject*: **Re: [office-formula] CONVERT - why not metric prefixes everywhere?**

*From*:**Eike Rathke <erack@sun.com>***To*: office-formula@lists.oasis-open.org*Date*: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 19:41:24 +0100

Hi David, On Tuesday, 2007-02-06 19:29:42 -0500, David A. Wheeler wrote: > > We should add a portability constraint though that prefixes to other > > than metric units may not be supported by applications. > > Okay, will do something like that. But I won't say "metric units", > I'll identify each unit that MUST have prefix support, and note that > an implementation MAY support prefixes for ALL units. I did find > a funny conflict ("hh"), which is true for Ecma too, First I was tempted to say "'hh'? what 'hh'?" because it never occured to me and is not mentioned in an Excel 2003 online-help, but then I looked up in Ecma and there we have "HPh or hh: Horsepower-hour" and "H or hp: Horsepower". However, the latter is wrong and not recognized by Excel, it is 'h' respectively 'HP' instead. > and I also found a solution for it (prefer the no-prefix > interpretation as a tiebreaker). Sure, works. > > Hmm.. "Pi" might conflict with "Pica", even if there is no unit "ca". So > > far simply parsing away a prefix was a valid approach without these > > binary prefixes. > > There's no "ca", so no issue. I just wanted to point out that an algorithm using the "parse away prefix" approach that (apart from the horsepowers) worked so far, when adding a "Pi" to its list of prefixes, will leave a "ca" only. Of course this can be prevented by trying a full match of known units first. > I think it's safer to say that the binary prefixes are ONLY guaranteed > to work for the information units, that eliminates many problems. Fair enough. > > > Is there some reason the metric prefixes shouldn't be just accepted everywhere? > > > And should we also permit "b" (bit) and "Byte", along with binary prefixes for these two? > > > > I don't see a strong reason why we should not permit it, with the > > restriction of not being portable. > > Why not just require it? As my last post noted, I plan to merge OOo > and Excel's capabilities, so no current application will implement all > of CONVERT anyway. But it should be easy for implementors to add. > If one vendor chooses to not implement the complete function, it's not > surprising that some documents can't be supported by that vendor's > application. Ok, I reword: with the restriction of not being interoperable with Excel ;-) > > Btw, OOo supports square and cubic > > measures such as "km2" and "m3" and "acre" and "ha", and many more. Also > > velocities like "m/s" and "km/h" and "kn" are supported. Do we want to > > add them all? > > As you can see from my last post, I think the answer is "yes". Then > we can support spreadsheets that use them! I think we should permit > alternate spelling using "^", e.g., "m^2"... that is a much more > common representation out there. Actually I've seen more m2 in the wild than m^2, IMHO most people would not use 42m^2 in daily writing but write 42m2 instead. Eike -- Automatic string conversions considered dangerous. They are the GOTO statements of spreadsheets. --Robert Weir on the OpenDocument formula subcommittee's list.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT - why not metric prefixes everywhere?***From:*"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

**References**:**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*"Andreas J. Guelzow" <aguelzow@math.concordia.ab.ca>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*Andreas J Guelzow <aguelzow@math.concordia.ab.ca>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*Eike Rathke <erack@sun.com>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*Andreas J Guelzow <aguelzow@math.concordia.ab.ca>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*Eike Rathke <erack@sun.com>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT***From:*"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

**CONVERT - why not metric prefixes everywhere?***From:*"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT - why not metric prefixes everywhere?***From:*Eike Rathke <erack@sun.com>

**Re: [office-formula] CONVERT - why not metric prefixes everywhere?***From:*"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

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