Annoying octal notation

Mensanator mensanator at aol.com
Tue Aug 25 08:01:30 CEST 2009


On Aug 24, 10:20�pm, Erik Max Francis <m... at alcyone.com> wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> > On Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:14:25 -0500, Derek Martin wrote:
>
> >> Assuming I'm right about that, then the use of a leading 0 to represent
> >> octal actually predates the prevalence of using 0 in dates by almost two
> >> decades. �And while using leading zeros in other contexts is "familiar"
> >> to me, I would certainly not consider it "common" by any means. �Thus I
> >> think it's fair to say that when this syntax was selected, it was a
> >> rather good choice.
>
> > Except of course to anyone familiar with mathematics in the last, oh,
> > five hundred years or so. Mathematics has used a positional system for
> > numbers for centuries now: leading zeroes have been insignificant, just
> > like trailing zeroes after the decimal point:
>
> > 9 = 09 = 009 = 9.0 = 9.00 = 0009.000 etc.
>
> Trailing zeroes are quite important when you're indicating the
> significance of a figure. �9 is not the same as 9.0 or 9.000.

Tell me about it. Unfortunnately, Microsoft doesn't understand
the difference between precision and significance. Makes my
job a nightmare when I have to convert ug/kg to mg/kg.

>
> --
> Erik Max Francis && m... at alcyone.com &&http://www.alcyone.com/max/
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