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Big numbers in base 10 are displayed with a dot every 3 digits*, like:

1.000.000.000.000.000

Base 2 numbers are different, probably is better to have no divisions:

0000001010001011111101

But what about different bases "big" numbers? Is there some rule, best practice, or advice to display big numbers?

234341111432104313222312131304423113044233031031 (which is 1.982.983.918.239.829.381.293.892.381.923.891 in base 5)

24d808941c097c3aa64d9a98d58e6 (same number in base 15)

Do you have any advice?

*(ok, this is not always true, but I'm developing a dashboard where big numbers has the dot as separator, but should be the comma ",")

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    I'm wondering if this might be a better question for the people at MathOverflow. I'd imagine that if there is a convention, they'd know better than us. Feb 4, 2020 at 15:50
  • good point, maybe I'll post there the question if I can't find anything here. Feb 4, 2020 at 16:27

2 Answers 2

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Developer here. Modern C++ uses a single quotation mark as a separator.

Not that long numbers in any base are readable. They are just strings of characters to a human. If you insist on displaying the number as a whole then I'd suggest using a fixed width font. Then the user can just compare the length and look for the first differing digit when comparing numbers.

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How is it useful to display this information? What is the context, can you give us a little bit more information?

Use abbreviation for large numbers: Names of large numbers

If you want to display a string of code, depending on the users need, you can:

a) Truncate the string

b) Truncate the string and show it on rollover (progressive disclosure)

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  • The main context is that users should be able to se "bigger" numbers at a glance, and read them if needed, something like "11.000.000.000" is bigger than "1.000.000" but this could happen also in different bases Feb 4, 2020 at 16:29

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