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Paul Joseph Davis commented on COUCHDB-1410:
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So this whole thing has really gotten blown out of proportion. While we have never formally documented what's going on internally, it can be described as such:
A number is parsed into one of two forms:
If the number contains a decimal point (".") or an exponent ("e" or "E") then the number is internally converted into an IEEE-754 floating point representation. This means that numbers containing either a decimal point or exponent are subject to the constraints of having a finite number of bits representing the number as is standard operating procedure.
If a number does not contain a decimal point or exponent then it is parsed as an integer with (theoretically) no loss of precision (I think precision is bound by the amount of RAM IIRC but I don't promise there aren't any bugs). (Side note for Jiffy, technically, if a number fits in a signed 64bit representation, that is used. If not then parsing is deferred back to Erlang which handles parsing as a bignum).
Literally, the only thing that's wrong in COUCHDB-1407 is that number formatting for doubles changed a wee bit and it has a simple fix and now people are getting all crazy about numbers and ignoring other places that JSON is munged. Blergh.
> Formally define number support
> ------------------------------
>
> Key: COUCHDB-1410
> URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/COUCHDB-1410
> Project: CouchDB
> Issue Type: Improvement
> Affects Versions: 1.2
> Reporter: Robert Newson
> Priority: Blocker
> Fix For: 1.3
>
>
> The JSON spec has a very loose definition of Number. CouchDB, as a database, should have well-defined and first class support for numbers (both integral and decimal). The precision of number support should be formally specified as should the algorithm used to represent floating-point values, especially where an approximation must be made in the conversion.
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