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office-formula message

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Subject: Re: [office-formula] MIN/MAX/MINA/MAXA and no value, zero?

On Mon, 2007-05-03 at 19:02 +0100, Eike Rathke wrote:

> It seems people actually rely on the behavior that MIN/MAX return 0 if
> no value. I just wonder if there is any mathematical justification for
> that.

Well, on the totally ordered set of representable reals, the min of a
finite set is the inf of that set, and the inf of the empty set would be
the largest representable real (no mistake here, I really meant min and

That would surprise people even more.  I don't think there is any real
conflict with mathematical definitions in this case, even if technically
a min (or max) should be a member of the set whose min/max is beinign

>  If there is, fine. If it contradicts, we should change it. I'd not
> suggest to make this implementation-defined, if all agree that returning
> 0 is the thing to do anyway, which Kspread, Gnumeric and Excel do, then
> OOo may as well follow.

I think we should stick with 0 even if personally I would prefer an

Andreas J. Guelzow, Professor
Dept. of Mathematical & Computing Sciences
Concordia University College of Alberta

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