Christophe Grandsire writes:
 > En réponse à Tim May <[log in to unmask]>:
 > > Christophe Grandsire writes:
 > >  > En réponse à Muke Tever <[log in to unmask]>:
 > >  >
 > >  > >
 > >  > > Why is the length stated before the width?
 > >  >
 > >  > Not length stated before width, but longest size stated before
 > > shorter size. A
 > >  > perfectly logical choice to me.
 > >  >
 > My bad. I've just checked, and it *always* smallest size first and bigger size
 > afterwards (i.e. 210x297). But it's always in that order, not dependent on the
 > orientation of the paper. Still, for paper I still find that vertical should go
 > before horizontal (maybe because by convention coordinates on a page are
 > generally taken from the top left hand corner rather than the bottom left...).
 > > But what if it's lined paper, and you wish to specify which way the
 > > lines run?
 > What do you think the terms "landscape" and "portrait" are for? :))
Of course, but my way you save a word.

 > Anyway, have you ever seen landscape oriented lined paper? I've never seen that
 > personally. Lined paper is always portrait as far as I know.
I don't recall seeing any, but I can imagine it, and wouldn't be
surprised to learn that it is available.

 >   You can't specify anything about orientation if the order
 > > is defined by which is longest.  It's ineffecient, unless there's some
 > > advantage I can't see.
 > >
 > The thing is that the biggest majority of the paper sheets sold in the world
 > are unorientated (because they are plain), so what's the point of specifying an
 > order which would find its use for maybe 1% of the cases? Better not even try,
 > since nobody would remember it anyway. So indeed the order is 210x297, but it's
 > not a width-length thing. It's a small figure-big figure thing. My comment
 > still holds, I was just taking it the wrong way round.
Rectangles without any specified orientation can be referred to your
way, if it's really felt that a standard is needed.

Besides, we're measuring a distance here, not a displacement.  And
even if we _were_ measuring the displacement from the top left to
bottom right, that would make the y coordinate negative - I don't see
how it suggests that the order should be reversed.

 > >  >
 > > It may be a stationery thing, but in general I'd give x by y, the same
 > > as I'd give Cartesian grid coordinates.
 > The problem is that Cartesian coordinates in this case often imply a bottom
 > left hand corner origin (to get positive coordinates), while on paper
 > coordinates are usually measured from the top let hand corner.
There's no intrinsic reason why the two standards shouldn't agree, is
there?  It's just an unfortunate difference of convention.  When is
this convention of measuring from the top left of a page used, anyway?
I've never come across it.