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- Subject: Re: Lua 5.3: 1 Month of use
- From: Roberto Ierusalimschy <roberto@...>
- Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 14:17:18 -0300
For of all, many thanks for sharing your thoughts. Really useful.
> The switch of tostring returning "2.0" instead of "2" is somewhat significant:
We really thought that change would be small. The manual always has
recomended programmers not to use 'tostring' for "serious" output:
* tostring (v)
Receives a value of any type and converts it to a string in a
reasonable format. (For complete control of how numbers are
converted, use string.format.)
> There are a few other cases where you need just the integer of a
> result and you want to append it to some other text, like when you're
> formatting a number with commas, a social security number or a phone
> number. There is a decent amount of implemented Lua that will return
> "1.0,234.0,567.0" (1,234,567), "+1.0 (612.0) 555.0-5555.0" (+1 (612)
> 555-5555), etc.
Are you sure this is so frequent? Wouldn't these numbers be usually
represented as integers (and therefore printed as such)?
> The fix for this feels different than even the one for _ENV/setfenv.
> You can overload or replace tostring to check for an integer and
> return the integer portion but this is a "patch" that brings back old
What is the problem here? If you explicitly want the old behavior,
put it back:
local oldtostring = tostring
tostring = function (x)
if math.type(x) == "float" then return string.format("%.14g", x)
else return oldtostring(x)
(That is why 'print' uses 'totring' after all.)
> If you want to use "//" but also need to support users of
> older Lua, then you have to have access to "load", or require and
> pall, or a macro processor...
You can also use math.ifloor:
> = math.ifloor(3.0)
(I am not sure 'ifloor' was already present in work 1...) For older
versions, you simply define it to be floor:
math.ifloor = math.ifloor or math.floor
> Also, code that uses "//" consistently will be different than code
> that uses "math.floor", every now and again. Let's say that you want
> an integer value to appear, without a ".0":
> --5.2 behavior
> > = string.format("%s", n)
> --5.3 behavior
> > = string.format("%s", n)
Again, if you are printing numbers, shouldn't you be using a proper
number format here, instead of "%s"? Or, again, you can use ifloor.
And, yet again, wouln't 'n' be a proper integer, more often than not?
The main idea of printing 2.0 instead of 2 (for people) is to make
them aware that a number that probably should be an integer is not.
(When the number should really be a float, it could print 2.1 or 2.2,
so 2.0 should not cause any harm.) More often than not that could be
(and should be) fixed in the code.
Maybe a new function to "normalize" a number (make it an integer if
it has an integer value) would be a useful adddition...