(j3.2006) Question about DIM
Thu Jan 14 00:50:47 EST 2016
>Without the internal checks, there is little point to DIM.
DIM does not have any internal checks, and none are possible when the result
is out of range. You are arguing that the standard should mandate one
particular wrong answer; this is *NOT* an improvement on the current
situation, indeed it is a disimprovement since the error is detectable at
> The result for DIM involves a decision:
>if (X-Y > 0) then
> result = x-y
> result = 0
No, that is not the case. The wording of DIM is
"The value of the result is the maximum of X ? Y and zero."
This is a mathematical definition, not a piece of Fortran code. There is no
ambiguity here - when X>=Y the result is specified to be X-Y, and if that is
out of range that means the program is invalid.
(When the result is in range the result can be computed with no branching on
many machines, but that's a horse of a different colour.)
Back on the erroneous Fortran code which does not appear in the standard
>One could argue that if X-Y is out of bounds, it is unreasonable to claim
>that X-Y > 0 evaluates to true. Rather, in that case the result is 0,
>which is certainly a representable value.
Since you are arguing Fortran code, if X-Y is out of bounds then it is
invalid to compute it. Rather, in that case the result is anything from
program termination to playing Jingle Bells through the speakers.
>It is probably the case that no one has looked at DIM since we made X-Y>0 a
>valid syntax for a logical expression. Which is why I proposed alternate
>wording that avoids using the expression.
But since the standard ***does not use that expression*** we have already
successfully avoided it.
........................Malcolm Cohen, Nihon NAG, Tokyo.
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