Output with EXP too small AI-00901/00 1
92-01-14 ra RE
!standard 14.03.08 (16) 92-01-14 AI-00901/00
!class ramification 92-01-14
!status received 92-01-14
!topic Output with EXP too small
!summary 92-01-14
!question 92-01-14
!response 92-01-14
!appendix 91-10-23
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!section 14.03.08 (16) B Wichmann 91-10-23 83-01439
!version 83
!topic Output with EXP too small
Machines which support IEEE double or extended precision have exponents
greater than 99 and therefore the default EXP field is not sufficient to
output big numbers.
One system on printing out a value using the default values for AFT,
FORE and EXP, removes the initial space that the value would otherwise
have, so that the total length in characters of the output is the same
as for values which only require an EXP value of 3.
Specifically one system outputs the smallest normalised value of IEEE
double length as
"2.22507385850721E-308" -- " shows limit of field printed
while another system outputs the same value as:
" 2.22507385850720E-308"
NB. The fact that the last digit of FRACT is different is not being
queried.
Is the above behaviour legal? Note that the phrase used in 14.3.8(4) is that
"The FORE field may include leading spaces", and it is well-known that "may"
is potentially ambiguous in English.