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Subject: Re: [office-formula] VALUE - what to do with "." and ","?

Hi David,

On Thursday, 2007-03-22 16:00:47 -0500, David A. Wheeler wrote:

> The VALUE function takes a string and returns a number.  If it gets "," or "." in a regular number, what should it do?


> In short: Do we require "C" locale interpretation of Numbers for VALUE? Is it locale-dependent?  Does it try "C" locale first, and then a locale if that fails?
> What do current implementations, including Excel, OOo, Gnumeric, KSpread, etc., do?

Gnumeric, Excel and OOo do it locale-dependent with no fallback to C or

> Even if you don't like _automatic_ conversion of string to number, I think we all agree that there MUST be a function that does it... and that's VALUE.  But I don't think we can leave such an important issue unstated.

Since VALUE is completely locale-dependent, its regexp in the semantics
section and the comment are wrong. The "leading '$' is ignored" applies
only to the en-US locale (and others that have a '$' currency symbol).
A leading '$' in a de-DE locale will result in an error. The separators
parsed of course are those of the locale. Note that a fully locale-aware
implementation may also parse other sign characters than just ASCII +/-

I suggest to completely remove that regular expression, it only causes
confusion. Or have it as an _example only_ for an en-US locale.


Automatic string conversions considered dangerous. They are the GOTO statements
of spreadsheets.  --Robert Weir on the OpenDocument formula subcommittee's list.

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