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From Jens Alfke <j...@couchbase.com>
Subject Re: decimal and builtin _sum function
Date Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:57:59 GMT

On Nov 15, 2013, at 9:31 AM, Mark Hahn <mark@reevuit.com> wrote:

>> When you store and then retrieve the number 0.3, you'd really like to know
>> that it will come back in the same form. Without knowing about the innards
>> of CouchDb and how it processes JSON, that's hard to guarantee.
> 
> A JS number is the same whether going through JSON or not.  There is no
> possible change.

That’s not true. JavaScript usually stores numbers as 64-bit IEEE floating point. JSON is
a _textual_ format, so converting numbers to JSON involves writing them as strings, which
is a lossy conversion. It’s especially lossy if you sacrifice a bit of accuracy to display
decimals in a more human-friendly way, i.e. writing “0.3” instead of “0.299999999998”,
which I think most JSON encoders do because otherwise users complain about their numbers coming
out “wrong” or at least “too long”.

—Jens (who has written a few JSON encoders)
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