RE: [xsl] XPath number with 20 digits gives you a head ache

Subject: RE: [xsl] XPath number with 20 digits gives you a head ache
From: "Michael Kay" <mhkay@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:25:06 -0000
> Simple XPath question regarding string to number conversions. Should
>   <xsl:value-of select="number(string('92125374252539897737'))" />
> return
>   92125374252539897737
> since most processors return
>   92125374252539900000
> which is not what one would want. Is this XPath spec or XSLT
> implementation related issue?

The spec requires IEEE 754 double-precision floating point arithmetic, which
is about 17 digits of precision. The rules are very strict and a processor
isn't allowed to give you greater precision even if it wants to, nor is it
allowed to "optimize out" the conversion of a string to a number and then
back to a string.

I hesitate to assert that the above is actually correct, but if you're
getting it from several processors then the chances are that it is.

Incidentally calling the string() function on a string literal seems rather

Mike Kay

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