On Fri, 27 Jan 2012, Summers, Peter wrote:
FWIW, here are my 2 cents worth. And note that I've never worked
with the comma as decimal separator, so feel free to discount the
following at the appropriate rate.
As I see it, there are 2 potential issues for decimal-comma users:
1) When using the GUI, one would like to have the interface as
"local" as possible. That is, allow use of the comma for input as
well as output, subject to the constraints that Allin's talked
about. 2) When doing scripting, writing functions, etc., we always
use the American system -- commas are never allowed as a decimal
I think if I were a decimal comma user, the question I'd be asking
myself would be: given that goal 2 above is fixed (and I think it
should be), which of the following would be more convenient? a)
using familiar methods ("local" spreadsheets, data entry, etc)
with the GUI, but "American" notation otherwise, or b) biting the
bullet and doing things the bloody American way.
I don't know if (a) is what Allin means by a "wretched British
compromise", and I'm not sure which would be less annoying to me
if I were in that position. But if I were, I think this is how I'd
start weighing marginal costs vs marginal benefits.
Your point (hah) is well taken: anyone aspiring to be a power-user
of gretl will have to get used to the decimal point sooner or later,
the only question is exactly when.
But I'd note that the decimal point is not just an American thing:
it's used in all English-speaking countries (that I know of) plus
China, Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan, etc., etc., i.e. a good
majority of the world's population.