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From "Marcus (OOo)" <marcus.m...@wtnet.de>
Subject Re: Calc behavior: result of 0 ^ 0
Date Sun, 10 Feb 2013 00:24:44 GMT
Am 02/10/2013 12:11 AM, schrieb Andrea Pescetti:
> A good practical example of backwards-incompatible changes in version
> 4.0 is the behavior of Calc while computing 0 ^ 0.
>
> You can find a long issue, with different points of view, about this at:
> https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=114430
> but in short:
> - Obviously, 0 ^ 0 is an illegal operation in mathematics and the result
> is undefined/invalid
> - 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
> - We gain interoperability since Excel returns an error too
> - We lose backwards compatibility if someone was relying on the fact
> that OpenOffice returns 1 as the result of "=0 ^ 0"
>
> I'm OK with the proposed change, provided we advertise it in the release
> notes. I'm not aware of any cases where someone is actively using the
> fact that in Calc 0 ^ 0 evaluates to 1, and even if someone did, I would
> say that his spreadsheets should not compute 0 ^ 0 at all. A side
> benefit would be that school students quickly wanting to find out what
> is the result of 0 ^ 0 would be told the truth (it's an error) instead
> of being presented with a numeric result and no warnings. (Then the
> student would go on and write "= - 2 ^ 2" and have a lot of fun, but
> this is out of scope here).

Right, the change has a *very* narrow and limited group of users. I mean 
not the power function itself but the result of "0 ^ 0".

> Is there consensus that this is a reasonable backwards-incompatible
> change, or compelling reasons to revert it?

I don't see any problem to change the behavior for *this special* case. 
Before it was behaving within the ODF standard and after the commit it's 
still the same. And when we can improve the interoperability with MS 
Office - even if it's just 0.5% - then even better.

So, +1 to keep Pedro's change.

Marcus


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