The documentation from the file is included below. It will look familiar.
One thing to note is the section on lists. I added a semi-colon as an alliterative to commas, since there is ambiguity using commas for decimals and lists. I'm not sure how you usually handle something like that using comma notation.
Also, note that I'm forcing comma-users to write 0,3 and 3,0 rather than ,3 or 3, in order to facilitate the distinction between numbers and lists. Let me know if that doesn't work for you.
Context("AlternateDecimal")- Provides a context that allows the entry of decimal numbers using a comma for the decimal indicator rather than a dot (e.g.,
DESCRIPTIONThis macro file defines contexts in which decimal numbers can be entered using a comma rather than a period as the decimal separator. Both forms are always recognized, but you can determine whether one or the other form produces an error message when used. You can also force the display of numbers to use one or the other form.
USAGETo use this file, first load it into your problem, then select the context that you wish to use. There are three pre-defined contexts,
AlternateDecimal-Warning. The first allows both the standard and alternate forms to be used, the second allows only the alternate form, and the third allows only the standard form, but recognizes the alternate form and gives an error message when it is used.
loadMacros("contextAlternateDecimal.pl"); Context("AlternateDecimal"); $r1 = Compute("3.14159"); $r2 = Compute("3,14159"); # equivalent to $r1; Context("AlternateDecimal-Only"); $r1 = Compute("3.14159"); $r2 = Compute("3,14159"); # causes an error message Context("AlternateDecimal-Warning"); $I1 = Compute("3.14159"); # causes an error message $I2 = Compute("3,14159");There are two context flags that control the input and output of decimals.
enterDecimals => "either" (or "," or ".")
This specifies what formats the student is allowed to use to enter a Decimal. A value of
"either"allows either of the formats to be accepted, while the other two options produce error messages if the wrong form is used.
displayDecimals = "either" (or "," or ".")
This controls how decimals are displayed. When set to
"either", the decimal is displayed in whatever format was used to create it. When set to
",", the display is forced to be in the given format regardless of how it was entered.
AlternateDecimal context has both flags set to
the decimals remain in the format the student entered them, and either
form can be used. The
AlternateDecimal-Only context has both set
",", so only the alternate format can be used, and any number
will be displayed in the alternate format. The
AlternateDecimal-Warning context has both set to
".", so only
standard format can be used, and all numbers will be displayed in
It is possible to set
different values. For example.
Context()->flags->set( enterDecimals => "either", displayDecimals => ".", );would allow students to enter decimals in either format, but all numebrs would be displayed in standard form.
LISTS IN ALTERNATE FORMATBecause the alternate format allows numbers to be entered using commas rather than periods, this makes the formation of lists harder. For example,
3,5is the number 3-and-5-tenths, not the list consisting of 3 followed by 5. Because of this ambiguity, the
AlternateDecimalcontexts also include the semi-colon as a replacement for the comma as a separator. So
3;5is the list consisting of 3 followed by 5, and
3,1;5.2is the list consisting of 3.1 and 5.2.
Note that the comma is still available for use as a separator, but
this makes things like
3,2,1 tricky, because it is not clear if
this is 3.2 followed by 1, or 3.2 times .1, or the list of 3, 2, and
1. To help make this unambiguous, numbers that use a comma as decimal
inidcator must have a digit on both sides of the comma. So one tenth
would have to be entered as
0,1 not just
,1 (but you can still
.1. Similarly, You must enter
3,0 or just
3,, even though
3. is acceptable.
With this notation
3,2,1 means the list consisting of 3.2 followed
by 1. If you want the list consisting of 3 followed by 2.1, you could
3, 2,1 since the comma in
3, is not part of the number, so
must be a list separator.
SETTING THE ALTERNATE FORM AS THE DEFAULTIf you want to force existing problems to allow (or force, or warn about) the alternate format instead, then create a file named
parserCustomization.plin your course's
templates/macrosdirectory, and enter the following in it:
loadMacros("contextAlternateDecimal.pl"); context::AlternateDecimal->Default("either","either"); Context("Numeric");This will alter all the standard contexts to allow students to enter numbers in either format, and will display them using the form that was used to enter them.
You could also do
loadMacros("contextAlternateDecimal.pl"); context::AlternateDecimal->Default(".","."); Context("Numeric");to cause a warning message to appear when students enter the alternate format.
If you want to force students to enter the alternate format, use
loadMacros("contextAlternateDecimal.pl"); context::AlternateDecimal->Default(",","."); Context("Numeric");This will force the display of all numbers into the alternate form (so even the ones created in the problem using standard form will show using commas), and will force students to enter their results using commas.