THANK YOU! I really appreciate you taking the time to understand what I've been saying. Perhaps I could've expressed it more clearly...
Anyway, should I submit an enhancement request? This is the lynch pin holding up my wiki! A service link wouldn't help me, unless I rolled my own CGI to handle the results. I would really like templates to be able to handle very large, n-ary data.
Summary: adding parts=exploded parameter for inline queries with templates would make the template receive the separate parts of each value, similar to service links.
In the thread "How to: Using parameters in queries", Robert Murphy wrote:
I'm still griping because n-ary is handled
with such difficulty. If the long n-ary data was passed individually
then it could be handled with nothing more than Extension:Parser
I have a hard time figuring out the specifics of what you want, but I think you point out an important limitation.
With format=template, one has no control over the individual field values passed to your template, it's just the wiki text of each item. You've found that you don't get the individual pieces of a many-valued property so you can process them. Another user might want to get the number and units of a linear value separately.
SMW already deals with this in a different context. Most datatypes already can provide the individual elements of a value to Service links <http://semantic-mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Service_links#Information_passed_for_each_placeholder>
So, if inline queries had a new "parts=exploded" option to send the same individual elements of each value to a template, you and others would have more formatting control.
There's currently a glitch in this: many-valued properties don't currently provide individual bits of a value for service links (bug 14426, I provided a patch).
It's not as simple as it sounds. E.g. some parts that datatypes return for service links are URL-encoded because service links are specifically for fabricating hyperlinks.