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Discussion on: Never use a number or currency formatting library again!

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Christos Litras

It depends on the size and the importance of the project and what versions of browsers that project needs to keep supporting. If we have a project that thousands or millions of users use in a daily basis, then most likely we'll have to deal with old browsers that won't have built-in support for Intl.NumberFormat API.

In a perfect universe where all people would have browsers that would support latest features, that would be awesome; but if we ditch backward compatibility and don't deal with missing APIs, then we'll end up with user's frustration, countless hours of debugging dealing with such issues and users moving away to other apps/platforms that will be able to see the actual numbers and not errors or empty strings.

Also, making applications using a native feature if it's available and fallback to a library if the feature is not available, will create inconsistency regarding data formatting and presenting.

If we have statistics regarding the userbase and the browsers they're using, the team can make conclusions and decide which minimum browser versions the platform/app will support and always detect these features and if not available display messages to the users that they have obsolete browsers/platforms and they need to update.

PS: Never use floats to store currency values, always use integers to strore the prices as cents!
PS2: caniuse.com/NumberFormat is always a nice way to check for features and browsers compatibility so we can have some clues of what we're going to deal with regarding obsolete but still used browsers/platforms.

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