Re: [xsl] format-number() causing problems to non-java implementators

Subject: Re: [xsl] format-number() causing problems to non-java implementators
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 09:37:40 -0500
At 10:05 AM -0800 1/17/01, Joe English wrote:

 BTW: Are there more functions causing problems for non Java

The requirement that numbers are represented as per IEEE 754 is troublesome. There's no portable way to deal with NaNs and infinities in C, C++, or most other languages (C9X makes things a little easier, but implementations aren't widely available yet.)

The 'string()' function is astonishingly difficult to implement
correctly without native language support, specifically clause 2,
subclause 7, XPATH section 4.2: "there must be as many, but only
as many, more digits as are needed to uniquely distinguish the
number from all other IEEE 754 numeric values."

This isn't a Java issue though. Pretty much all modern, general-purpose CPUs that implement floating point use IEEE 754. As well as Java, so do many C, C++, and Fortran compilers. The decision was to go with an existing, well-known, well-understood, well-supported, true standard. Failure of some languages, compilers, and libraries to properly implement that standard is a very different issue than tying XSLT to a non-standard, proprietary API.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx | Writer/Programmer |
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