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From Daniel Dekany <>
Subject Re: comparing monetary value
Date Thu, 17 Oct 2002 03:23:15 GMT
Thursday, October 17, 2002, 2:22:14 AM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:

> On 10/16/02 3:19 PM, "Tim Colson" <> wrote:
>> Note: seems fair to disclose that Jonathan, to paraphrase the FreeMarker
>> website, "rewrote the core of FreeMarker". Also, I noticed that Daniel
>> is heavily active on the FM-DEV list. It puzzles me, but I will not
>> speculate on why these gents are so worked up about having this feature
>> in Velocity, since by Jonathan's own explanation, it already exists in
>> the Freemarker template engine which both chaps seem to prefer.
> Yes, I too wonder why Jonathan and Daniel are so worked up about this.

Could you please stop this "Jonathan and Daniel" thing... It such a
waffle. If someone wonder, I tell you why I'm here: Simply, I heard
that Jonathan is here, and I was Velocity list reader in the pre-FM
2.x times, and I was curious what will happen now. And I just can't
stop myself to reply when I see something nonsense. It has nothing to
do with the fact that I'm involved in FM. What's then? I don't get
payment for FM users...

So... returning to the essence...

I don't understand why are you so reluctant about decimals. (Well,
frankly, I have an idea, but I don't tell it again.) What are your
counter arguments? (I ask you because you are the leader developer
here, AFAIK.)

To prevent needles communication, here are a few counter-arguments,
and why are they invalid (IMO). I don't say here that you say these

- Decimals inherently problematic because of the rounding
complications (1.49999999999999 and such things).
- Yes, but decimals are existing in the real-life. Is this a good
logic when someone does not solve something because the solution is
not trivial? Obviously it does not make sense. Also, exactly because
it is not a trivial topic, it is better if Velocity solves this, than
leave individuals to develop tools for it.

- It would complicate/distort the syntax.
- I don't think so. The only point where it touches the syntax is that
you can write constants like 1.5. But it is just a little extension of
the syntax, right? Also, it is such an obvious thing.

- It would complicate/distort the semantic.
- From the viewpoint of designer it would *simplify* the semantic.
Everyday people find it natural that he can use decimals. Integers and
decimals are not separated so strictly in the brain of non-programmer.
They are just all numbers. What they don't find natural is that
90/100=0 (since it is nonsense), or that they can't compare two
numbers, because one of them is not integer.

- Velocity should solve number formatting then.
- It is cleanly an MVC view task, right? So it is the task of
Velocity. Anyway, you must solve it, wether you like it or not, and
now you are forced to solve it with custom tools. Not to mention that
number formatting issues are existing even if you support integers
only (e.g. someone may use grouping when display integers.) A standard
tool is a possible solution.

- We just discuss that we will develop a standard tool...
- That's OK for solving the formatting problem, but in fact it has
nothing to do with the question (i.e. supporting decimals or not).
Operators still will not work (90/100 = 0, relational operators don't
work...). I know, you can use tools for do these things, but this in
itself is not a counter-argument... maybe you can say that it makes
decimals +0 in this field. However, I would disagree then: would not
it be much better if 1/2 is simply 0.5?

- Designers needs only integers
- I don't think so, but that's a somewhat subjective question. Also, I
guess the number of requests means that it is not that uncommon thing
that someone need decimals. But even if they need it 1 times per 1000
year (I doubt), in itself it is again a +0 argument.

So the main point is that simply I don't see a reason *against*
decimals (while I and many other uses see reasons *for* decimals). Why
would be that harmful?

So, what are your *counter-arguments* against decimals?

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