Revisiting Decimal (generic algorithms)

Allen Wirfs-Brock Allen.Wirfs-Brock at
Fri Jan 16 14:25:48 PST 2009

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Brendan Eich [mailto:brendan at]
>Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 12:12 PM
>> This problem cannot be fixed simply by tweaking the coercion rules.
>> It probably requires that numeric literals be treated as generic
>> values that are only interpreted situationally as either binary or
>> decimal values in the context of a particular operations.
>That, or multimethods so we don't essentially carry around literals in
>source form and pay high costs converting them according to context.
>That was the ES4 solution at one point, until we started cutting.
>Based on Dylan and Cecil precedents:

I think that carry dual encodings (both binary and decimal) for each numeric literal might be a reasonable approach as long as we only have two types.  However choosing  that over maintaining the source form sounds like an implementation rather than specification decision.

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