*From*: Eike Rathke <erack sun com>*To*: Leonard Mada <discoleo gmx net>*Cc*: gnumeric-list gnome org, office-comment lists oasis-open org*Subject*: Re: [office-comment] Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"*Date*: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 21:45:50 +0100

Hi Leonard, First, please note that this discussion is highly unproductive because cross posted to multiple mailing lists, gnumeric-list gnome org and office-comment lists oasis-open org, and answers don't show up on the office-comment list as Gnumeric people aren't subscribed there, same as my answer probably won't show up on gnumeric-list if not moderated through. On Thursday, 2007-02-22 23:34:02 +0200, Leonard Mada wrote:

Andreas J Guelzow wrote:Unfortunately there is a significant discrepancy of the normal mathematical definitions and what is used in spreadsheets.However, there is NO discrepancy what mathematicians use. Also, dedicated mathematical programs are fairly consistent with these precedence rules. I therefore recommend to every developer of a mathematical standard to have first a look at Mathematica.[Of course there is an issue here: in OOo ^ appears to be left-associative while in Gnumeric it is right-associative.]1. “^” is left-associative, not right-associative!!!Wherever I look I find that ^ is indeed right-associative contrary to your claim. ...I meant right-associative! [The former was actually the definition inside the OASIS document.]

Well, you should have stated so and/or somehow marked it as a quote. Adding multiple exclamation marks actually made no one believe that it could be a quote of the OASIS draft, I think. The ^-operator is problematic, being defined left-associative and the special case of when a formula starts with a =-x^y expression it is interpreted as if it was =0-x^y date back to Excel practice and maybe even Lotus 1-2-3 or others. The =-x^y behavior is needed for interoperability. You may argue back and forth that it's mathematically wrong and I wholeheartedly agree, but being mathematically correct doesn't help us here in the latter case. To prevent users from shooting themselves into their feet applications may implement UI means like Gnumeric did with the automatic conversion to =(-x)^y, which is nice. For the file format however formulas may have been converted between different appplication's formats and fiddling around with a formula isn't always feasible. Whether we really should define the operator being left-associative is arguable though. I tend to disagree with the current draft, even if that's what OOo (following Excel) currently implements, and will discuss further on the OASIS formula subcommittee's list. Eike -- OpenOffice.org Engineering at Sun: http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: [office-comment] Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"***From:*Eike Rathke

**References**:**OASIS: Infix Operator "^"***From:*Leonard Mada

**Re: OASIS: Infix Operator "^"***From:*Leonard Mada

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