Why does the percent stuff have so many restrictions?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/12/11 18:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/12/11/502455.aspx

Between the post entitled And you can't set all of the properties all of the time... and the one entitled More limitations with percentage support, it is somewhat obvious that the percent formatting and parsing support is pretty limited when compared to the support for number and currency values.

Since it is a weekend I figure I would expound a bit on why I think that may be.

Note that I have no idea if I am correct and have no internal knowledge of the decision making process that led up to the current level of support.

So you should feel free to take everything I am saying with a grain of salt.

I suspect that the reason is that there simply never was as much work done in the past to support percent formats, either in the globalization data underlying it all.

Or in the formatting support that originally shipped in Win32 and then later was put into COM and then finally into .NET (where percent support was added, but clearly not with the same level).

Or in the parsing support in COM or in the .NET Framework (which I suspect is probably due to the lack of the underlying support more than anything else -- if the parsing code cannot query the information in the same way, it cannot make as good a use of it).

Now this does not have to be a permanent situation -- if people find themselves feeling the lack as one that is causing problems, then customer feedback (like to the MSDN Product Feedback Center) can easily cause that work item to be put on the schedule in a future version. Obviously as a feature it would have to compete with any other features that people would like to see, but the triage process for such decisions is one that can definitely be influenced by customer feedback, so if it is important to you, it is worth getting in.

Ideally, someone would not add it to the MSDN Product Feedback Center just because they read it here, but because they had a specific problem with the lack of support. :-)

I mention this because some of the problems that I point out here from time to time are occasionally found in the wild but I would not want coverage here to artifically inflate the importance -- from a scenario perspective I have no idea how common it is to need enhancements to percentage formatting or parsing (or for that matter anything else I cover here!).


This post brought to you by "%" (U+0025, a.k.a. PERCENT SIGN)

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referenced by

2011/02/18 speaking with an accent, conceptually

2005/12/18 Customizing the SHORT time format?

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