All my JavaScript is usually unobtrusive, however I need PHP to set a simple JavaScript value:
the_value = 1;
(it has to be set by PHP depending on some calculations)

How is the best way to do this as I don;t like the below method?
the_value = "<?php echo $the_value; ?>";
I have heard of setting the value in a hidden text field, but I like the idea of setting something like this:
<meta id="the_value" content="1">
...where I can then use the unobtrusive JS to grab the value.

Is that possible?

What is the best way to do this?