Boost logo

Boost :

From: Fernando Cacciola (fernando_cacciola_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-12-20 20:46:56

Hi Kevin!

"Kevin Lynch" <krlynch_at_[hidden]> escribió en el mensaje
> Thorsten Ottosen wrote:
> > Dear all,
> >
> > The review of Fernando Cacciola Numeric Conversion library starts today
> > of Dec.) and runs until the
> > 22th of December.
> >
> I regret to report that I have not been able to make the time for a
> complete and proper evaluation of the nitty gritty details of the
> current design and implementation, and I won't be able to before the end
> of the the review period, but I was deeply involved with the discussions
> about a year ago that let Fernando to build this library.
Yes! I remember that....

> Hopefully
> makes up for the shortcomings in my evaluation this time around :-)
> Apologies if I bring up something that has already been discussed and
> addressed.... pretend I didn't mention it here.
> > a.. What is your evaluation of the design?
> >
> I like the overall design. I think that the design is well seperated
> into orthogonal components, is complete, and doesn't attempt to promise
> any more than it delivers.
> > b.. What is your evaluation of the implementation?
> I regret that I have not evaluated the current implementation beyond a
> quick looksee.
> >
> > c.. What is your evaluation of the documentation?
> >
> As noted by others, the documentation could use some help ... but what
> programmer's documentation doesn't need some help? :-)

> Specifically, as others have mentioned, there is a need for more
> examples to help people implementing their own traits and converters.

> Additionally, I have the following comments and/or questions:
> 1) The Overview really needs to have a few motivating use cases, right
> up front, on the problem the library attempts to solve. This is
> different from the need for examples of how to implement the traits
> needed to work with UDTs

> 2) In the definitions section:
> a) Nitpick: I think that your definition of "floating numeric types" is
> too narrow; it leaves a gap in the numeric types that isn't filled by
> the other types. By defining floating types to be "[where] the abstract
> values represent real numbers", you are only admitting numeric types
> such as float/double etc with vanishing density. You leave out the
> class of numeric types with fraction parts and finite density (for
> example, a type that covers monetary values with a finite number of
> decimal digits are not included in your classification scheme). I think
> you intended to include those kind of types in floats, because in at
> least two places, you mention that "floating types have a density << 1".
> I think you need to change the definition.
Good point.
As you said I intended to cover more types than float/double with vanishing
Perhaps I should (a) change the word "floating" to "real" and add: "or a
subset of the real numbers".
These should include fixed-point numbers, decimal numbers, rational numbers,

> b) Another nitpick: You define next() and prev() in the section on range
> and precision, and use that to define a numeric set by iteration. Fine.
> In the section on rounding, you use next() and prev() to define a
> "correct rounding" of an abstract value V to its rep v = rep(V) to be
> those roundings where v == prev(V) or v == next(V). This is incorrect
> when the abstract value can be exactly represented: if V = 1 and T =
> int, then next(V) = 2, not 1. I think you either need to redefine
> correct rounding in terms by adding the exactly representable case
> explicitly, or requiring "v == prev(next(V)) or v == next(prev(V))"
> which solves the problem. The former is clearer, the latter is more
> succinct and prettier to my eyes :-)
OK , I see your point.
In that section, the words "next" and "prev" are actually symbol names not
neccesarily correspoding to the result of the operatos prev(V), next(V)
(sort of misleading actually)

If V==1, the 'prev' or 'next', whatever, is choosen to be 1, so that

abt(prev) ? V ? abt(next)


However, this way prev and next are not fully defined while using

v == prev(next(V)) or v == next(prev(V))

as you suggest gives a full definition.


> c) In the section on Standard Conversions, you use "sequel" a few times.
> I can't figure out what you intended to say. Did you mean "sequence"
> perhaps?

Oops.. that's my non-native English :-) I intended to say: in the "rest of
the document"

> d) Comment: It seems strange that the standard demands that integers
> always be convertable to floats ... with this requirement, it is not
> possible for an implementation with the minimal compliant floating point
> (FLOAT_MAX = 1E+37) and big integers (128 bit longs, for instance, with
> ULONG_MAX approx 3.4E+38) to be compliant.

> Granted, that would be a
> pretty strange platform, but it seems a bit wacky to preclude those
> implementations from conformance. Anyone know of a good reason why the
> C++ Standard demands that integer to floating point _always_ be defined,
> while C99 explicitly does not (C99 has nearly identical
> language to C98 4.9, but additionally has the line: "If the value being
> converted is outside the range of values that can be represented, the
> behavior is undefined.")???? I don't have a copy of C89, so I don't
> know if that is a change to C or an incompatibility added by C++. It
> isn't a "Defect" in the standard per se, but it is a little strange.
I'll add a remark about this being different in C99.. And I'll check out
C++03 to see if it changed.

> 3) Header ... converter_policies.hpp
> You give explicit values in the documentation to the values of enum
> range_check_result, which I don't think you should do in the
> documentation ...


> > d.. What is your evaluation of the potential usefulness of the
> This library should not only be extremely useful, it plugs a yawning gap
> in the C++ standard library. It should be useful in many numerically
> oriented libraries and applications where the screwy C++ conversion
> rules can really bite you.
> >
> > e.. Did you try to use the library? With what compiler? Did you have
> > problems?
> >
> I have not tried to compile or use the current implementation, but I did
> use the older implementation which Fernando made available a while ago;
> I had compiler related issues (Redhat gcc 2.96) at the time to work
> around that probably aren't relevant anymore.
> > f.. How much effort did you put into your evaluation? A glance? A
> > reading? In-depth study?
> This time around, I was only able to put in about two hours into
> studying the documentation and examples, so probably more than a quick
> read, but less than an in-depth study.
> >
> > g.. Are you knowledgeable about the problem domain?
> Moderately ... I use numerics regularly in my job, but I have no formal
> training in the field. I get bitten by the problems this library solves
> regularly enough to know the need.
> >
> > h.. Do you think the library should be accepted as a Boost library?
> I vote unconditionally for acceptance.

Berst regards,

Fernando Cacciola

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at