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- To: email@example.com
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Wed, 20 May 1987 19:44:00 -0000
- Cc: email@example.com
More on Roman numerals:
I haven't given the question a large amount of thought, but it seems to me that the
printed representation of a number is as much tied to the font characteristics of a given
output device as it is to the "style" or "language" of the number.
This problem seems to apply to other areas as well, such as non-English printing.
Rumbling about Roman numerals only scratches the surface.
I see the following solutions to the Roman problem:
1. Print in decimal, when Roman won't work.
2. Extend the Roman system, e.g., V-CCIV = 5204.
3. Deem it an error.
4. Extend the character set and sense properties of the output
device when printing. This, of course, does not solve
the problem in general.
I think I like (1) best, since it guarantees a number recognizable by
English-speaking humans (which the rest of Common Lisp seems geared to),
and does not lead us into the quagmire of querying devices, extending
character sets, etc. The need to address those problems, however,
is not far off.