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


David A. Wheeler wrote:
> 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:
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponentiation#Zero_to_the_zero_power
> "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 fine.
I don't know that it is a "better" term but it seems to me that the 
standard defines the range of choices and then applications chooses one 
of them. (Or at least I would hope that it would consistently pick one 
of them.) In that case, I don't think the application has defined 
anything, it make a choice among the definitions made by the standard.

That may just be hand waving but it seems more consistent to me. Sorry, 
I am really tired by this time of the day.


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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