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From Rory O'Farrell <ofarr...@iol.ie>
Subject Re: Calc behavior: result of 0 ^ 0
Date Sun, 10 Feb 2013 15:04:22 GMT
On Sun, 10 Feb 2013 15:44:38 +0100
RGB ES <rgb.mldc@gmail.com> wrote:

> 2013/2/10 Hagar Delest <hagar.delest@laposte.net>
> 
> > Le 10/02/2013 00:43, Rob Weir a écrit :
> >
> >  Spreadsheets are used by businessmen and not only mathematicians.
> >>
> >
> > I think that very few mathematicians use AOO at all.
> > Even in the industry (in which I work for almost 15 years), MS Excel is
> > not used to perform high level calculations. Even the nice charts we can
> > see from complex tests are in fact exports from dedicated software that
> > just give the numbers and let MS Excel draw the chart with all the bells
> > and whistles needed (secondary grid, axis, legends, ...).
> > Real calculation is made with specific applications, often developed by
> > the companies to be sure they master the process.
> 
> 
> 
> +1. I remember a conference (I'm physicist) on which one person presented
> charts made with excel. One of the senior scientist on the audience then
> said "you are masochist, don't you?"
> 
> Regards
> Ricardo

My thinking is the Calc should return the mathematically correct answer.  Consider a parallel
case: suppose some other widely used spreadsheet was to define Pi as 3 (following the Indiana
Pi Bill, bill #246 of the 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly), ar to say that 2+2=5,
should Calc follow?  No, we should be correct; it is open to anyone who doesn't like this
to use another application.

> >
> >  - In 3.4.1, "=0 ^ 0" returns 1
> >>> - In 4.0, as patched by Pedro (see issue), "=0 ^ 0" would return an error
> >>> - According to ODF, valid results are 0, 1, error
> >>>
> >>
> >> In other words, the results we were giving before were entirely valid.
> >>
> >
> > It just means that an acceptable shortcut was used. Giving 'error' would
> > be valid too (regarding the ODF compliance).
> > But I would not say that mathematics POV 1 as a result is valid. Even if
> > some tend to think that 1 is OK.
> >
> >
> >
> >  Microsoft has gone decades with treating the year 1900 as a leap year.
> >>    Should we?
> >>
> >
> > Agreed, who cares what MS Excel does? It should not dictate what AOO
> > should do.
> >
> >
> >
> >  - We lose backwards compatibility if someone was relying on the fact that
> >>> OpenOffice returns 1 as the result of "=0 ^ 0"
> >>>
> >>
> >> Correct.  The fact is we have returned 1 for this calculation for over
> >> a decade.  Whether mathematicians think it is right or wrong (and they
> >> do not all agree), that is what we did.  So changing it now has the
> >> potential to break real user spreadsheets. So this is a serious
> >> change.
> >>
> >
> > First, how many users would face such a problem when both the base and
> > exponent are null???
> > Again, real maths are not done in spreadsheets. So it's very likely the
> > 0^0 cases would not break that many sheets and with an error, users will be
> > able to spot quickly the issue and adapt to prevent that situation to be
> > calculated.
> >
> > Second, and that's my main point here: you're angry about such a minor
> > change when you don't mind breaking the backward compatibility of the whole
> > extensions eco-system? See: http://www.mail-archive.com/**
> > api@openoffice.apache.org/**msg00107.html<http://www.mail-archive.com/api@openoffice.apache.org/msg00107.html>
> > I'm lost about the priorities... and how end-users fit in your agenda.
> >
> > Hagar
> >


-- 
Rory O'Farrell <ofarrwrk@iol.ie>

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