Revisiting Decimal (was: Prioritized list of Decimal method additions)
rubys at intertwingly.net
Wed Dec 3 17:53:05 PST 2008
Brendan Eich wrote:
> On Dec 3, 2008, at 1:04 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> I saw the meeting minutes, and got a debrief from Allen yesterday.
>> I'm still unclear on how to proceed with Decimal, even if the new
>> target is Harmony.
>> Waldemar's issues were raised and responded to prior to Kona:
> Did this address Waldemar's other message?
The "no user visible cohorts" addressed that particular concern.
> I also don't see a reply to David-Sarah Hopwood's message:
Given that the spec text has been removed, the way I would like to
proceed is to first come to an agreement on the semantics we desire, and
for that I would like to solicit comments on the output produced by the
implementation I produced.
While I agree that Decimal wrappers are useless; but I think that
consistency argues that they need to be there (in fact, I was talked
into putting them there); again I refer back to the output produced and
>> What are we left with relative to the the following output from the
>> code that I wrote?
> Looks like we may need Waldemar to comment or elaborate on his last post
> (first link above).
>> Relative to that output, I've heard two issues.
>> The first was "no user visible cohorts". The issue is Waldemar's
>> insistence that ES is irretrievably broken if array lookup for
>> x[1.10m] respects the trailing zero. IIRC, Brendan's position was a
>> more pragmatic one, namely that "small" integers (like, say, up to
>> 10**20th) are the only values for which toString must avoid both
>> exponential notation and trailing zeros, other values shouldn't get in
>> the way of "doing the right thing". That would have been fine, but
>> unfortunately he couldn't make the meeting (something I definitely
>> understand). Mike and I weren't then, and still aren't happy about
>> conceding to Waldemar's position on this one, but at Redmond we did
>> with the understanding that with that concession, Decimal was "in".
> This Redmond-meeting result did sound like a breakthrough in any event.
> Was it memorialized with spec changes?
There were spec changes that went in as a result of the Redmond meeting,
yes. At least one was identified before the Kona meeting by Waldemar
(and fessed up to by me) as having been botched by myself (and => or).
>> The second was the duplication between "Math.min" and "Decimal.min".
>> I was operating under the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it"
>> guidelines. To date, Math.min *always* returns a Number, never an
>> Object. Waldemar apparently feels that people will call the wrong
>> function. To me, this is a "you say N-EEE-THER, I say N-EYE-THER"
>> issue. If the consensus is that Math.min should be changed and
>> Decimal.min should be removed, that's a pretty quick fix.
> This doesn't seem like a big problem, by itself.
Agreed, and in any case, one that I would eagerly adopt.
>> So now the question is: where are we now?
> The two general kinds of problems from the Kona meeting were:
> 1. Spec bugs, not just typos but material ones that couldn't be fixed by
> that meeting, which was the deadline for major additions to ES3.1 not
> already in the spec.
For the moment, I would like to split that list into two categories:
areas where there isn't yet agreement within the committee on how to
proceed, and the best way I know how to make progress on that is to come
to agreement on the behavior desired, hence my suggestion that we look
at concrete test cases; and a list of places where I erred in my
converting my understanding into prose.
No matter how we proceed, the first list needs to be captured and
addressed eventually anyway.
> 2. Future-proofing arguments including: do we need Decimal wrappers for
> decimal primitives. I know we've been over this before, but it still is
> an open issue in TC39.
That does sound like the type of issue that I would like to see us
identify and work to resolve. Two questions come to mind: (1) can
anybody identify a specific expression which behaves differently that
one would desire, and (2) if we've been over this before, what does it
take to actually close this issue this time for good?
> I'd appreciate Waldemar's comments; and those of other TC39ers too, of
- Sam Ruby
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