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office-formula message

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

I don't know if I'd favor having some implementations give an error while others give zero.  If someone has a document that silently fails (gives zero) and then gives an error when they give the spreadsheet to someone else,  then this will certainly cause some user confusion.

Also, this is not an arcane function that will be used by few people.  This is not a Bessel function.  MIN and MAX are very basic functions that all will use.  So the impact of confusion would be multiplied.   So I'd recommend having a single, complete, unambiguous definition for it.


"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com> wrote on 03/06/2007 10:16:20 AM:

> "Andreas J. Guelzow":
> > I think we should stick with 0 even if personally I would prefer an ERROR.
> (When given 0 arguments)
> Why?  I'd prefer to declare "Implementation-defined, either Error or
> 0" when there are 0 arguments given to these functions.  It's clear
> that different implementors do this differently, there are arguments
> either way, and the problem is trivially avoided.  If we mandate
> something, EVERYONE has to do it that way, and I don't see a good
> reason to mandate this case.
> Note that this is different from "an argument that is a range,
> containing no numbers".  In THAT case, I believe we MUST return 0.  
> Since THAT returns 0, that's a plausible case for having the 0-
> argument case also return 0.
> We're dancing on angel-pins here, which is probably a really good sign :-).
> --- David A. Wheeler

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