The best solution would be to use a scientific notation. This also makes
more implicit the (as you could already hear it coming) precision.

Such as that in the year 17*10^9 our Sun will become a black dwarf.

On Mon, 10 Jan 2011 18:33:44 -0500, Ray Denenberg wrote
> The spec is intended to address bibliographic data, but it isn't 
> limited to bibliographic data, and there are several other 
> disciplines represented.  For example, astronomers may want to 
> discuss the pending collision of the Andromeda and Milky Way 
> galaxies, to occur in the year three billion.....
> ... which of course wouldn't be supported by 6-digits, and the fact 
> is, 6-digits was chosen arbitrarily and as a placeholder, as there 
> has been no discussion of the matter, yet.
> There may be no requirement beyond 4-digits, and if we can ascertain 
> that that is so, it would make matters much simpler and I would be 
> glad to see expanded years profiled out.
> So I welcome discussion of this.
> --Ray


Edward C. Zimmermann, NONMONOTONIC LAB
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