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Re^3: int() function

by syphilis (Archbishop)
on Oct 25, 2020 at 00:46 UTC ( #11123143=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: int() function
in thread int() function

Well I'd say appropriate for the era and not "for a dubious reason".

I probably should have said "for lack of a sound reason". (Hmmm ... not sure if that's any different ;-)

It's just that, if the stringification provided an extra 2 decimal digits of precision, we would avoid having to look at rubbish diagnoses like this one (where the test fails but "got" and "expected" are reported as being the same):
C:\_32>perl -MTest::More -le "cmp_ok(0.14, '==', 1.4 / 10, '0.14 == 1. +4/10'); done _testing();" not ok 1 - 0.14 == 1.4/10 # Failed test '0.14 == 0.14' # at -e line 1. # got: 0.14 # expected: 0.14 1..1 # Looks like you failed 1 test of 1.
IMO, if $x is an NV, then the condition "$x" == $x should always be true unless $x is NaN.
And that's the way it would be if doubles stringified to 17 digits of precision instead of the current 15 digits.
I would regard that as being a significant improvement for very little cost.
And we would then see that "got" is 0.14000000000000001 and "expected" is 0.13999999999999999 - which at least makes some sense.

It's still not ideal because the strings "0.14000000000000001" and "0.14" both assign to the same double - so why print out all of those extra digits ?
Python3 (and Raku, I believe) use as few digits as are needed and would report the double 0.14 as being "0.14" and not "0.14000000000000001".

I've implemented that Python3/Raku behaviour in Math::MPFR - though with a different algorithm and probably not as efficiently as Python3/Raku.
C:\>perl -MMath::MPFR="nvtoa" -le "print nvtoa(0.14);print nvtoa(1.4 / + 10);" 0.14 0.13999999999999999

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Re^4: int() function
by LanX (Sage) on Oct 25, 2020 at 12:09 UTC
    > if the stringification provided an extra 2 decimal digits

    How this? There are only 2-3 bits left and 2**3 < 10, so no way to get a 16th decimal out of a double.

    I know it's confusing. But if you stuff a number with more than 15 decimals into a double you'll have loss anyway. And I doubt it's better in JS or python.

    > "cmp_ok(0.14, '==', 1.4 / 10

    Well, but on the other hand eq should work because of the magic.

    IMHO most people understand rounding errors, the point of confusion is that exact decimal fractions are not always exact binarie floats.

    Probably we should have a shortcut for something like printf "%.18f" to facilitate diagnosis.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery

      I know it's confusing

      I don't find it so.

      But if you stuff a number with more than 15 decimals into a double you'll have loss anyway.

      One thing I can guarantee is that if you limit yourself to 15 decimal digits, you will experience the loss of not being able to assign the full range of "double" values.
      As an example:
      C:\perl -le "printf '%a', 1.41421356237312;" 0x1.6a09e667f3c3dp+0 C:\>perl -le "printf '%a', 1.41421356237313;" 0x1.6a09e667f3c6ap+0
      Between 0x1.6a...c3d and 0x1.6a...c6a there exists 45 doubles with distinct, precise values. (c6a - c3d == 2d == 45 in base 10)
      But you can't assign to any of those 45 values if you limit yourself to assigning 15-digit values. (For some of those values 16 digits will suffice, but you'll never need more than 17 digits.)
      Also, for each of those 45 values, perl will output that they are either 1.41421356237312 or 1.41421356237313.
      That's 45 precise, distinct, unique values - for which perl will display only 2 values.
      Perl is making itself look ridiculous for the sake of saving 2 digits of precision.

      And I doubt it's better in JS or python

      Python2 was crap, but python3 (as I've already mentioned in this thread) is exemplary:
      $ python3 -c "print(0.14)" 0.14 $ python3 -c "print(1.4 / 10)" 0.13999999999999999 $ python3 -c "print(2 ** 0.5)" 1.4142135623730951
      Python3 will always output the minimum number of decimal digits needed to preserve the uniqueness of the given value. And, last time I checked, raku was outputting exactly the same as python3 - for "doubles", anyway.

      Not sure what happens with javascript - I've no experience with it.

        We seem to have different priorities.

        If there is a 16th decimal digit printed I expect it to be correct in any case.

        Maybe one of those dump commands should be included into core to help clarifying what's happening by using printf '%.17f' for floats.

        Raku's solution seems far better than the Py3 one, because people expect decimal DWIM.

        Cheers Rolf
        (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
        Wikisyntax for the Monastery

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