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Author's profile photo Craig S

Decimals – Point or comma

I wasn’t sure what to make this, a blog, a discussion or a document.

I settled on a document in this case. 

We recently had an issue with the use of decimals and comma’s in a data conversion process between a European based legacy application and a US based SAP system.  This lead to a discussion about what countries us what notation and why.

So in the interest of project harmony, (nah.. was just curious), I decided to try to find out the answer.  After finding several ‘wrong’ explanations in my Google quest, I finally discovered one article that seemed to be well researched and well written. (Surely you didn’t think I was actually going to research this from scratch!?).

I could explain it all here again, but you’re much better off reading the article directly. 

So here it is:

I doubt this will make a significant impact on anyone anywhere but I thought it might be something good that one day you’ll be able to amaze and astound your friends and relatives with your knowledge of world cultures and why things work the way they do.


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      Author's profile photo Lukas Weigelt
      Lukas Weigelt

      >>"does not appear to cause any major problems."

      >>"But authors, editors, and readers should be

      aware of the difference."

      And people working in PY probably as well 😛

      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      Yes.. 😆 Obviously the author never worked on an international SAP project in data conversion!! 

      Of course her target audience was quite different then ours.  But I thought teh overall articel did a good job of explaining how we got to the point, (pun intended) we are at.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Firefighter,

      this is a blog or document. Not a discussion. You did right.

      Here's some others for you to research: .

      • Date Notation: Europeans like day, month, year separated by a period, as in 24.08.2012, Americans like month, day, year separated by hyphen or slash as in 8/24/2012.
      • Time: Europeans use 24-hour railroad time where hours separated from minutes by a period, as in 17.30, whereas Americans use a.m/p.m and a colon to separate as in 5:30 p.m.
      • Floors: In Europe the ground floor of a building is called the 'ground floor' and the floor above that, if there is one, is called the first floor. Americans call the ground floor the first floor and the floor above that the second floor. This can be a problem, for example, if you reserve a hotel room on the third floor, which really turns out to be the fourth floor and there is no elevator.
      • Measurement in general: and then there is the decimal system that most of the world uses for temperature and distance while Americans stick with the Brits on this issue and cling to their feet and their fahenheits.
      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Keith,

      This was just a littel sidebar thing we got into and I got curious about it.  Seemd like a nice light fare topic for the coffee corner.

      They really need to bring the term coffee corner back.  As "About SCN" seems wrong for water cooler types of discussions and topics like this one.

      Maybe some day the world will eventually all have similar conventions.  i doubt it, but it's a thought.  Someday I believe the US will convert to metric.  They made a push to try once, and I'm sure they'll try again.  But that is definitely not something that will be undertaken in lean times.  that can only be attempted in good times as it will cost many businesses a fair amount of money to convert over.  Just he reprogramming of manufacturing equipment would be huge.  Our standard 8' board would be what?  A 2.44 meter board?  They would probably go to a 2.5m  board and of course all the building designs and other materials are cut and sized to work with 8ft distances.  So everything from plywood and drywall sizes would need to be adjusted to work with 2.5m boards. 

      16" centerred studs would be what? 40.5cm?  That would have to go to 40cm or more likely 50cm.

      And my 100ft Hook and Ladder firetruck would be a 30.47m ladder truck!