Consistent decimal semantics

Brendan Eich brendan at
Mon Aug 25 17:28:36 PDT 2008

On Aug 25, 2008, at 5:25 PM, Waldemar Horwat wrote:

> Brendan Eich wrote:
>>> - Should decimal values behave as objects (pure library
>>> implementation) or as primitives?
>>> If they behave as objects, then we'd get into situations such as  
>>> 3m !=
>>> 3m in some cases and 3m == 3m in other cases.  Also, -0m != 0m would
>>> be necessary.  This is clearly unworkable.
>> What should be the result of (typeof 3m)?
> "decimal".  It should not be "object" because it doesn't behave  
> like other objects!

Ok, good (not "number"), but still a scary thing to contemplate if  
your code switches on typeof and believes it handles all cases based  
on ES1-3.

> Not doing option 2a or 2b would make it hard to write generic  
> methods, it would mean that you could use decimals to index arrays  
> but not pass them to Array.prototype methods (unless we made those  
> special as well), etc.

Good point. Alternative 1 is really only for decimal-specific code.  
Generic arithmetic wins if we can agree on 2a or 2b.

> I'm off to Burning Man!  I'll continue this discussion next week.

Have fun!


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