I donâ€™t remember ever having read another reply to this mailing list with so much interest in years!

Cheers, Mario On Wed 7. Mar 2018 at 21:36, joe darcy <joe.da...@oracle.com> wrote: > Legend has it that after the ancient Greek Hippasus shared with his > fellow travelers the elegant proof [1] that the square root of 2 is not > a rational number, he was thrown off the ship by Pythagoreans outraged > that such numbers should exist. Hippasus subsequently drowned. Whatever > catharsis was released by his death did not change the fact that > mathematically sqrt(2) cannot be exactly represented by the ratio of two > integers. > > Rational numbers are simple and elegant. However, in many areas we > cannot limit ourselves to dealing with rational numbers since values > like sqrt(2) cannot be accommodated. To greatly abbreviate the > development of different kinds of numbers, real numbers are commonly > used, despite their complexities, since they contain their limits, > meaning that transcendental values like pi are inside the system. > > Floating-point arithmetic is a systematic approximation to real > arithmetic, an approximation with pragmatic compromises to facilitate > calculation on computers. Floating-point numbers can represent numbers > over vast scales and are (typically) fixed-sized. These aspects of > floating-point arithmetic force most field axioms to fail to hold, field > axioms being the familiar properties of arithmetic such as addition > being associative ((a+b) + c == a + (b+c)). > > Other fixed-size approximations that have been explored, such as > fixed-slash and floating-slash arithmetic, have been found to have worse > computational shortcomings than floating-point arithmetic. > > It is true that using a binary floating-point representation rather than > a decimal floating-point representation can cause additional surprises > since 1/10 is not exactly representable in binary. However, all the > field axioms that fail to hold for binary floating-point arithmetic also > fail to hold for decimal floating-point arithmetic. In addition, the > distances between adjacent decimal numbers makes a larger relative jump > (ten-fold) across exponent boundaries than for binary (doubling). > > The IEEE 754-2008 standard incorporated decimal arithmetic into an > update of the 1985 version of the standard. This included fixed-size 64 > and 128 bit decimal formats, amenable for hardware support. However, few > architectures have added such support. > > Moreover, the roundoff errors from floating-point computation are only > one source of errors in a computation. *Even if arithmetic were done > exactly, numerical analysis would still be needed.* As numerical analyst > Nick Trefethen has said "If rounding errors vanished, 95% of numerical > analysis would remain." For example, exact arithmetic does not remove > modeling error, where the model does have sufficient fidelity with > reality. Many calculations involve sums of an infinite number of > decreasing terms so truncation errors occurs for the tail of the total > sum once the terms are no longer included. > > The bugs have you filed and the emails you have sent to this alias are > all known situations and have all received responses: > > JDK-8190947 -- Insufficient arithmetic Behaviour > Closed -- will not fix, including citations to additional > explanations of floating-point. > > JDK-8197995 - BigDecimal and BigInteger Defaulting Behaviour > Closed -- not an issue, long-existing documentation describes > exactly how to avoid the reported problem. > > JDK-8190991 - Forward and Inverse operations accuracy. > Closed -- not an issue. With fixed-precision, it is not possible to > invert operations over the entire domain, as previously discussed on > this list > > http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/core-libs-dev/2017-December/050393.html > . > > JDK-8190946 - There is no elementary functions support for > BigDecimal and BigInteger. > Closed as a duplicate of JDK-4297957, which in turn was created in > 1999 and closed as will not fix in 2006. > > Repeatedly ignoring these responses and the reasons given for them will > not make advancing your cause easier and wastes the time of those > crafting the replies. > > To examine a few of these more closely, for JDK-8190991: "Forward and > Inverse operations accuracy" the responses give examples where for a > fixed-precision result, the function cannot be exacted inverted even in > the case where the true function is monotonically increasing (where it > is defined), like square root. The concrete example previously sent to > core libs: sqrt on the domain [1, 2) is in the range [1, ~1.4). From the > pigeon-hole principle, this cannot be in inverted in the same precision > since (of necessity) multiple elements of the domain map to the same > element in the domain. In fact, a majority of elements of range must > have two or more corresponding domain elements. > > For JDK-8190946: "There is no elementary functions support for > BigDecimal and BigInteger", it is a true observation that BigDecimal and > BigInteger offer few elementary math functions, many fewer functions > than are supported for double in java.lang.{Math, StrictMath}. It is > also true that a larger suite of math library methods for BigDecimal > would be useful to some users. However, the mere fact that a set of new > library methods would be useful for some users is *not* sufficient cause > to have the JDK team work to develop, test, and maintain such a library. > It is perfectly acceptable and in many ways preferable for limited-use > libraries to be developed outside of the JDK and not shipped as part of > the JDK. > > One of the use-cases for the value type changes being worked on in > Project Valhalla is lower-overhead for numerical types, such as > BigDecimal and BigInteger and potential classes like complex, etc. IMO, > it would also be reasonable to have syntactic support for operators on > such types. > > There are no prospects for a fundamental redefinition of the > floating-point semantics of the Java language and VM. It is possible a > faster and looser mode will be defined at some point, but altering the > default is extremely unlikely. Long-term, decimal-based arithmetic (and > other kinds of arithmetic) may get better support as a consequence of > the features in Valhalla. Filing additional bugs or additional emails to > this alias will not change any of this or make it happen faster. > > A few notes on what this mailing list is and is not. This list and other > lists under of the OpenJDK umbrella are forums for people participating > in OpenJDK development and who want to be informed about OpenJDK > development. These lists are not a free support channel. These lists are > not a forum to drop in, issue demands for large projects without so much > as an offer of assistance, and then check back a few months later to see > why more progress hasn't been made. > > -Joe > > [1] Assume sqrt(2) is a rational in lowest terms, p/q. Then, by > definition, 2 = (p^2)/(q^2) and therefor 2(q^2) = p^2. Consequently p^2 > is even which implies p is even as well. Let r = p/2; r is an integer. > p^2 = (2r)^2 = 4r^2. Substituting, 2(q^2) = 4(r^2), reducing q^2 = > 2(r^2). Therefore, q^2 is even and q is even as well. However, we have > reached a contradiction. If both p and q are even, then p/q is *not* in > lowest terms. Therefore, there is no rational number which is the square > root of 2. >