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*Subject*: **Re: [office-formula] (from Bryce L Nordgren) Fwd: Use case; multi-radix& roman numeral formatting**

*From*:**"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>***To*: robert_weir@us.ibm.com*Date*: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 18:06:54 -0400

robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote: > > I like the idea of a formatting in a different number base. Me too, though I suspect that's a "future extension" rather than something we need to do right now. > But we would need to define what this means for non-natural numbers. > How is -1 displayed in binary? Two-complement? Or just -1? You can't do two's complement unless you have a fixed number of bits, so "-1" is probably the only safe answer. > What about decimals? Binary-coded decimal or IEEE floating point? I don't understand this, what do you mean? > I think Roman numerals leads to other questions. How do you represent > numbers greater than MMM ? How do you represent decimals? How to you > indicate zero? The word "Nullus"? I'd propose "0" as the representation for zero, it's certainly unambiguous, and again allow a leading "-" for negative numbers. I think applications should be free to display some sort of out-of-bounds indicator if the number is too large. For fractions/decimals, I have no idea. This is in some ways simple; just declare "this format calls ROMAN() and displays its result". > We'd also want to keep in mind that the set of allowable output > formats also sets expectations for parsing of input and automatic > string to number conversions. Yes. That may be the biggest problem, managing expectations. --- David A. Wheeler

**References**:**Re: [office-formula] (from Bryce L Nordgren) Fwd: Use case; multi-radix & romannumeral formatting***From:*robert_weir@us.ibm.com

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