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From Jens Alfke <>
Subject Re: Fixed precision of floating point number not respected in views
Date Wed, 20 Feb 2013 06:29:39 GMT

On Feb 19, 2013, at 7:58 PM, Luca Morandini <> wrote:

> Well, it is not a matter of precision -as it may be enough for most purposes- but 
> of external representation: every user would expect to get back the same data he 
> had put into the database.

But you _can’t_ put a number like 0.1 into a binary floating-point value; only a very close
approximation of it. It’s a mathematical impossibility, because 0.1 has an infinite number
of digits in binary. So round-trip fidelity is impossible. The only way to store a number
like that exactly is to represent it as BCD or fixed-point or as a string. (It seems weird
to be explaining this to someone with an IEEE email address…)

It sounds like you are just going to have to accept tiny bits of roundoff error. If you think
it makes the numbers look ugly, make your app do a bit of truncation when it displays them.
It seems like hyperbole to say that this is going to block your project.

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