Rename Number.prototype.clz to Math.clz

Mark Miller erights at
Thu Jan 16 13:28:14 PST 2014

On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Joshua Bell <jsbell at> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM, Mark S. Miller <erights at>wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 8:40 AM, Jason Orendorff <
>> jason.orendorff at> wrote:
>>> At the risk of putting too many nails in the board...
>>> The rationale seems to propose that (0).clz() === 32, but the
>>> hypothetical uint64(0).clz() would return 64. That seems like a bad
>>> idea though. It's weird for two zero values to get such different
>>> behavior from the same method. It's weird for floating-point numbers
>>> to have a clz() method in the first place.
>>> Since these are two different mathematical functions, they should have
>>> different names: Math.clz32(zero) would be 32 no matter what type of
>>> zero you pass it; the hypothetical Math.clz64(zero) would of course be
>>> 64. That way users can focus on the mathematical function being
>>> computed, rather than runtime types.
>>> Or maybe: flip the function around so that it returns the number of
>>> bits in the binary expansion of the value: Math.bitlen(15) === 4. This
>>> is just (32 - CLZ), so it effectively computes the same thing as clz.
>>> The advantage is that it extends naturally to integers of any size.
>> +1. I like this flipping idea by far the best. It can be explained in
>> terms of the number being denoted, without referring to the internal
>> limitations of any particular representation. With this change, I agree it
>> should be a static on Math.
>> With this flipped idea, let's think through what the proper .bitlen
>> answers are for fractions, negative numbers, NaN, +/- Infinity, and -0.0.
> Would Math.bitlen(Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER) return 53 or 32?

Since the point is to make the answer have a mathematical relationship to
the number denoted, rather than the limits of a particular representation,

> (If 53, environments trying to emulate 32-bit ints on top of Number could
> toss in yet another |0 or >>>0)


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