Thoughts on IEEE P754

Waldemar Horwat waldemar at
Fri Aug 22 14:06:35 PDT 2008

Sam Ruby wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 4:18 PM, Waldemar Horwat <waldemar at> wrote:
>> Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Waldemar Horwat <waldemar at> wrote:
>>>> Here's a question for you:
>>>> What should the full result of converting 1.1 to a Decimal be in ECMAScript?  Describe the precise answer and justify your choice of answer.  Hint:  This would behave remarkably differently depending on whether we settle on Decimal64 or Decimal128.
>>> At the present time, I am only suggesting that ECMAScript support
>>> Decimal128, and that there not by *any* implicit conversions to
>>> Decimal.
>>> Decimal.parse(n) would take n.ToString() and then parse that as a
>>> Decimal128 value.  If (in the future) additional precisions were
>>> allowed by the standard, then there would be a second parameter on
>>> Decimal.parse that would allow the precision to be specified.
>>> Meanwhile:
>>> true: Decimal.parse(1.1) == 1.1m
>> An interesting choice.  This produces more sensible results but directly violates IEEE P754 section 5.3.3.
> I'm looking at DRAFT P754, April 24, 2008.  Section 5.3.3 in this
> draft is entitled "logBFormat operations".  I doubt that's what you
> are referring to.  Can you provide me with a bit more context?

Sorry, I meant 5.4.2.

>> If we're using Decimal64, then there are no major issues.  Converting 1.1 do decimal would produce 1.1m, as both you and I desire.
>> If we're using Decimal128, then IEEE P754 mandates that binary floats be convertible to decimal floats and that the result of the conversion of 1.1 to decimal be 1.100000000000000088817841970012523m.
>> Hence, a dilemma if we choose Decimal128.  Do we obey the standard?
> Deviations from the standard merit bug reports.

Are you saying this is a bug in IEEE P754?  I doubt it.


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