Shawn Steele via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Fri Jan 18 15:03:55 CST 2019

I've been lurking on this thread a little.

This discussion has gone “all over the place”, however I’d like to point out that part of the reason NBSP has been used for thousands separators is because that it exists in all of those legacy codepages that were mentioned predating Unicode.

Whether or not NNBSP provides a better typographical experience, there are a lot of legacy applications, and even web services, that depend on legacy codepages.  NNBSP may be best for layout, but I doubt that making it work perfectly for thousand separators is going to be some sort of magic bullet that solves any problems that NBSP provides.

If folks started always using NNBSP, there are a lot of legacy applications that are going to start giving you ? in the middle of your numbers. 

Here’s a partial “dir > out.txt” after changing my number thousands separator to NNBSP in French on Windows (for example).
13/01/2019  09:48            15?360 AcXtrnal.dll
13/01/2019  09:46            54?784 AdaptiveCards.dll
13/01/2019  09:46            67?584 AddressParser.dll
13/01/2019  09:47            24?064 adhapi.dll
13/01/2019  09:47            97?792 adhsvc.dll
10/04/2013  08:32           154?624 AdjustCalendarDate.exe
10/04/2013  08:32         1?190?912 AdjustCalendarDate.pdb
13/01/2019  10:47           534?016 AdmTmpl.dll
13/01/2019  09:48            58?368 adprovider.dll
13/01/2019  10:47           136?704 adrclient.dll
13/01/2019  09:48           248?832 adsldp.dll
13/01/2019  09:46           251?392 adsldpc.dll
13/01/2019  09:48           101?376 adsmsext.dll
13/01/2019  09:48           350?208 adsnt.dll
13/01/2019  09:46           849?920 adtschema.dll
13/01/2019  09:45           146?944 AdvancedEmojiDS.dll

There are lots of web services that still don’t expect UTF-8 (I know, bad on them), and many legacy applications that don’t have proper UTF-8 or Unicode support (I know, they should be updated).  It doesn’t seem to me that changing French thousands separator to NNBSP solves all of the perceived problems.


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