Luke Hoban lukeh at
Thu Aug 1 10:24:07 PDT 2013

More discussion on this here:  CC Roger Andrews who had argued there that this should be 2- and 3- arguments only.  

Personally, I don't see a strong case against allowing hypot to be variadic from re-reading that discussion, and do believe that would be a more expected behavior for ECMAScript, as for example Waldemar's last comment below points out.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Orendorff [mailto:jason.orendorff at] 
Sent: Thursday, August 1, 2013 10:13 AM
To: Allen Wirfs-Brock
Cc: Luke Hoban; es-discuss
Subject: Re: Math.hypot(1)

On Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM, Allen Wirfs-Brock <allen at> wrote:
> Waldemar:  Why isn't it variadic?
> Luke:  2 or 3 is the 99% use case.
> Waldemar:  2 or 3 arguments is the 99% use case for max.
> Waldemar:  If it's not variadic and takes only 2 or 3 arguments, 
> you'll get silent mistakes.  If you pass in four arguments, you'll get 
> the hypot of the first three, and the last one will be silently 
> ignored.  That's bad.

Heh! Thanks for the long quote.

It's striking how many good points Waldemar has in this exchange.

> Luke:  Will go back to the experts to explore implementing variadic hypot.

I don't know if I qualify as an expert, but variadic hypot would be no harder to implement than what is currently specified (probably easier, honestly), and no harder to optimize.

To answer a question posed in that discussion, one way hypot(a, b) is better than sqrt(a*a + b*b) is that the latter underflows if the arguments are both small, and overflows if either argument is large.


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