Meador Inge wrote:
Even with the user-defined precision capabilities of the 'Decimal' class? In other words, can I create an instance of a 'Decimal' that behaves (in all operations: arithmetic, comparison, etc...) exactly as the extended double precision type offered by a given machine?
It's not precision that's the issue, it's that the number base is different. That affects which numbers can be represented exactly, and how results that can't be represented exactly are rounded.
I would be very surprised if there is a way of configuring the Decimal type so that it gives identical results to that of any IEEE binary floating point type, including rounding behaviour, denormalisation, etc.