[REBOL] Re: Rebol Enhancement Proposal - Telephone numbers
From: joel:neely:fedex at: 20-Apr-2001 2:57
Andrew Martin wrote:
> How about adding the telephone number to Rebol? For example:
> The rebol parser rule could be:
> "+" some Digit "-" some Digit "-" some Digit
I suggest not. My (limited) experience is that phone numbers
are similar to postal codes, in that there's so much variation
in formatting that without some sort of parameterization (e.g.,
having a "locale" setting as part of an "internationalization"
module) it's difficult for even a human to know what's going
on. (And I assume that the whole point of the rich set of
literal typing rules is to allow REBOL to make the same sorts
of inferences that a human would...)
For example, conventions for US phone numbers include all of
the following variations (by which I mean that I've seen all
of these used in printed matter in a way that assumes the
reader will recognize a phone number pattern):
Note: The last case is still ambiguous, in that it assumes
EITHER that you don't need an "area code" because you're in
the same area OR that you know the area code of the number
and the area code where you are and can decide whether to
add it yourself.
Note 2: The leading "+" is nowhere in the list. I believe that
a typical US citizen would be very puzzled to see the string
appearing in text unless (s)he happened to recognize the
exchange and line segments. Even so, that's not the "natural"
way for such a person to type a phone number.
I'm certainly NOT arguing that we should constrain REBOL to
data formats that are "the American way"; I am suggesting
that any formalized syntax -- for cases involving so many
variations internationally -- will risk confusing humans
or making them learn new rules for things they think they
already understand. Such an unintended side-effect seems
counter to the REBOL Way to me.
Just my $0.02 ... (OH, NO, ANOTHER AMERICANISM! ;-)