Adobe position paper on the ECMAScript 4 proposal space -- decimal

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.org
Wed Feb 27 09:58:32 PST 2008


On Feb 27, 2008, at 5:33 AM, Lars Hansen wrote:

> None of the above speaks to the possibility that "decimal" might be  
> a distinct data type in the language, of course, along with  
> "double" and "int" and "uint".  Such a data type would in our  
> opinion not be a poor fit for ES4, and as your own writings  
> demonstrate, there are good use cases for it.  We think a few of  
> our customers, and probably a few users on the web, would find the  
> data type useful.

I agree with what Lars wrote, except here I think the value of a  
hypothetical (possibly mythical) "big red switch" is understated.  
That most dup'ed JS bug in buzilla.mozilla.org,

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5856

still collects dups at a good clip. There was even a recent variation  
complaining about mantissa binary precision limits, but that's not  
the common problem. The common problem is that you can't do "dollars  
and cents" or "pounds and pennies" arithmetic and get the "right  
answer":

js> 74.96-39.96
34.99999999999999

This is not a problem for only a "few users on the web". I wish we  
could fix it. But the big red switch can't be on the side of the  
whole browser, or even the current tab or window (and all its  
subsidiary frames or iframes or popups).

Mike, have you any experience with mixed mode (due to mixed code)  
environments?

/be




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