[m-rev.] for review: clean up string.m

Sebastian Godelet sebastian.godelet+github at gmail.com
Tue Nov 11 20:01:31 AEDT 2014

On Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:58:04 +1100 (AEDT)
Julien Fischer <jfischer at opturion.com> wrote:

Hello Julien,
> Hi Zoltan,
> On Sun, 9 Nov 2014, Zoltan Somogyi wrote:
> > For review by Julien. Can you please have a look at the
> > XXX I added for the treatment of -0.0, and tell me whether
> > you know of a way to check the sign bit directly (not via < 0.0
> > test) on each of our target languages?
> For the latter: to check the sign bit in C# and Java you will need to
> convert the float to its binary representation and extract the sign
> bit. (See the attached program for C# and Java implementations that
> do this.) In principle, the same approach will work for Erlang, but
> my Erlang is not up to that.  (The floating point support in the
> erlang grade is pretty broken at the moment, so it's ok to leave the
> Erlang case NYI for now.)
I think in Erlang it would be (this works in erl):
B = binary:first(<<F:32/float>>) bsr 7.
> For C, using the signbit macro only works for those C compilers that
> support C99.  Since we (unfortunately) still need to support some C
> compilers that don't (e.g. MSVC prior to 2012) something else will
> need to be done for them. For now, I suggest simply checking whether
> signbit exists in the configure script as per the other FP macros and
> calling MR_fatal_error if it doesn't. (I'll add implementations for
> older C compilers at a later date.)
> I was intending to add signbit and a bunch of other impure low-level
> float operations to the float module anyway, so if you are going to
> use it you may as well add it there.
> I think the bigger question here is: how should string.format (and
> friends) handle -0.0 in the first place?  There is an issue because
> string.format is one of the functions referred in the comment at the
> head of the float module that doesn't obey the axiom `all [F, X, Y] X
> = Y => F(X) = F(Y)', for instance when X = 0.0 and Y = -0.0.  For
> string.format throwing an exception in the zero case, as suggested by
> that comment, is not an option though.
> > I next intend to move the implementation of string.format
> > to a new submodule of string.m, so that string.m doesn't become
> > even bigger when I add code for parsing format strings
> > *without* the values to be printed being present.
> > The idea is for compiler/format_call.m to use this new capability
> > to transform *all* calls to string.format and io.format in which
> What about calls to stream.string_writer.format?
> > the format string is statically known to a sequence of calls to the
> > predicates that do the actual formatting, thus compiling away
> > all the format string interpretation overhead.
> >
> > This would require turning off using_sprintf, since (a) we cannot
> > target the innards of a C library function, and (b) having the
> > interpreted and compiled versions of string.format and io.format
> > having different behavior is not a good idea.
> That's fine by me, the differences between the sprintfs on different
> systems have long made testing things more complicated than they
> should be.
> > Besides enabling compiling away format string interpretation
> > overhead, turning it off would also allow us to add new format
> > specifiers sprintf *cannot* handle. The obvious one is a specifier
> > that does what io.write does.
> >
> > Independently of the above, I plan also to look into factoring out
> > commonalities in the existing formatting code by replacing the
> > conversion specifiers d/i/o/x etc, e/f/g etc as just int and float
> > specifiers with parameters for things such as octal/decimal/hex
> > base.
> >
> > Any objections?
> Not from me.
> The diff itself looks fine except the additions to the require module
> need to be mentioned in the NEWS file.
> Cheers,
> Julien.

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