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office-formula message

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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Constraints and infix ^

robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> Implementation-defined behaviors tend to stem from a few causes:

> 3) A standard created from divergent practice.
> I think spreadsheet formulas are mainly divergent because of #3,

Agree.  But in the "0^0" case, the problem is that mathematics
itself is divergent.  According to:
"The debate has been going on at least since the early 1800s."

Even among spreadsheets, Excel returns an Error and OpenOffice.org 
returns 1.  Personally, I think 1 is a "more useful" answer in the 
spreadsheet context, but I completely agree that Error is a completely 
justifiable result.

I think this is a divergence that we can't completely close at this 
time, but we can at least limit the permissible behavior to a small set 
of permitted results.   I think that is still termed 
"implementation-defined", but if there's a better term for that, that's 

--- David A. Wheeler

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