Thisisprettytrcikytoreadwhenitstartstogetlong. Right? Readability is very important. It can make a concept easy to understand, or utterly bamboozle the reader.

But it’s not just something for words. Lets take an example:

  1. 227,690,938
  2. 227690938

The first one has a comma separator to break up the number into easier-to-read chunks. Its easier to scan the image and know roughly what the value will be. It makes counting the digits a very quick and painless process. In some countries, it’s replaced with a full-stop; the point is, there’s always something to denote large figures. The second one does away with that nonsense and goes with the cold, hard number value. Both are perfectly acceptable number formats.

In fact, both would be accepted to paste into a numerical field in EVE. At least they were until Escalation to Inferno hit in April of this year. Once this pre-expansion hit, the game would no longer accept comma-separated values in numerical fields.

So? What’s the big deal?

Well, the thing with EVE is ISK is king. Missing a digit because its late and there’s no commas for you to easily tell the difference between derping your market-empire away while you doze and awaking the next morning to being filthy rich, is kind of a big deal.

I’ve been working with separated numbers in all my spreadsheets since the dawn of time. It makes it very, very easy for me to quickly see if something doesn’t look right; I can quickly see if I’ve made a stupid error earlier in the process because the number looks incorrect. Without the commas, it’s a little tougher.

Sure, I can still use the comma separated values in my spreadsheet, but I cannot copy-paste them into the game. It just won’t let you do that any more. I’m going to have to create duplicated value cells for totals that just strip out the commas purely so I have a visual aid and a value I can paste into the game when I need it.

It’s a small thing, but it makes a hell of a difference!

Comments for this Post

0 thoughts on “theimportanceofreadability”

  1. Eric Sandall
    18th Jun '12 at 6:32 am

    What I do is use a spreadsheet and then copy into the in-game calculator which converts for me and from there into the market or other fields.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *