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*Subject*: **Re: [office-formula] Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"**

*From*:**Andreas J Guelzow <aguelzow@math.concordia.ab.ca>***To*: office-formula@lists.oasis-open.org*Date*: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 14:33:32 -0700

On Thu, 2007-22-02 at 15:59 -0500, David A. Wheeler wrote: > I'm very familiar with these traditional mathematical interpretations. > Indeed, early version s of this document had the reverse association, > which was later perceived as a mistake and fixed. The format we're > defining is primarily for spreadsheets; silently changing precedence > rules is dangerous and potentially deadly. > > Spreadsheet applications generally agree that "=-2^2" computes as 4, > and that "=2^3^4" is 4096. Certainly both OpenOffice.org and Excel > agree on that, and if I recall correctly, many other spreadsheet > applications do as well. I would like to point out that Gnumeric does calculate =2^3^4 as 2.41785163922926E+24. So "generally agree" is not quite correct. Also the note that Gnumeric calculates -2^2 as 4 is not quite correct. If you type in the character sequence - 2 ^ 2 the formula is changed to (-2)^2 to clarify precedence to the user. So you can't ever enter -2^2. > > Applications can show a different representation in their user interface if they want to, but in general we've tried to use a syntactic representation that is consistent with typical user interfaces. > > > > And inventing a syntax that break what historically has been done in the > > field (in this case in spreadsheets) isn't good for a standard either. > > That's my view as well. Where we CAN make changes to make the syntax > more consistent with other conventions or standards, without silently > making dangerous changes, we should do so. But these precedence rules > probably go all the way back to VisiCalc, and are nearly universally > agreed-upon. I think "nearly universally agreed-upon" is an overstatement. Excel and OpenOffice agree, Gnumeric disagrees. > -- "Liberty consists less in acting according to one's own pleasure, than in not being subject to the will and pleasure of other people. It consists also in our not subjecting the wills of other people to our own." Rousseau Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Guelzow Dept. of Mathematical & Computing Sciences Concordia University College of Alberta

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: [office-formula] Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"***From:*Eike Rathke <erack@sun.com>

**References**:**Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"***From:*Andreas J Guelzow <aguelzow@math.concordia.ab.ca>

**Re: [office-formula] Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"***From:*"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>

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