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[perl #101262] Inconsistent generation of floating negative zero

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Keith . S . Thompson @ gmail . com
October 13, 2011 00:52
[perl #101262] Inconsistent generation of floating negative zero
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This is a bug report for perl from,
generated with the help of perlbug 1.39 running under perl 5.15.2.

[Please describe your issue here]
This is based on a question posted to
(The poster identified him or herself only as "smith".)

This program:

use strict;
use warnings;

my $x = -1.0 * 0.0;
my $y = -1.5 * 0.0;

printf "x = $x = %f\n", $x;
printf "y = $y = %f\n", $y;

produces this output:
x = 0 = 0.000000
y = -0 = -0.000000

I get the same result with perl 5.10.1 (the default version on my
system) and the "blead" version built from source on 2011-09-13.
(I'm building a newer version now and will follow up if there's
any difference.)

It's reasonable for a negative number multiplied by zero to yield
a negative zero.  It would also be reasonable for it to yield a
positive zero.  What seems unreasonable is that -1.0*0.0 and -1.5*0.0
yield different results.

I had a couple of hypotheses about this.  The first was that
the value being printed by the original program (which had a more
complex expression than the one above) might have been producing a
very small negative value that was being rounded to -0.0 by sprintf
with a "%0.1f" format, but changing the format shows that it's a
true negative zero.  The second was that one value might be computed
at compile time and the other at execution time, using inconsistent
methods, but replacing all the constants with calls to a function
that shouldn't be optimizable yielded the same results.

Further experiment shows that multiplying a negative integral value by
0.0 yields -0.0, but multiplying a negative non-integral value by 0.0
yields 0.0.

[Please do not change anything below this line]
Site configuration information for perl 5.15.2:

Configured by kst at Mon Sep 12 18:26:31 PDT 2011.

Summary of my perl5 (revision 5 version 15 subversion 2) configuration:
  Commit id: 53b10071adc2e67f88bbc0d32e2dc6f982598c98
    osname=linux, osvers=2.6.38-11-generic, archname=i686-linux
    uname='linux kvetch 2.6.38-11-generic #48-ubuntu smp fri jul 29 19:05:14 utc 2011 i686 i686 i386 gnulinux '
    config_args='-de -Dprefix=/usr/local/apps/perl-blead-2011-09-13-012629Z -Dusedevel'
    hint=recommended, useposix=true, d_sigaction=define
    useithreads=undef, usemultiplicity=undef
    useperlio=define, d_sfio=undef, uselargefiles=define, usesocks=undef
    use64bitint=undef, use64bitall=undef, uselongdouble=undef
    usemymalloc=n, bincompat5005=undef
    cc='cc', ccflags ='-fno-strict-aliasing -pipe -fstack-protector -I/usr/local/include -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64',
    cppflags='-fno-strict-aliasing -pipe -fstack-protector -I/usr/local/include'
    ccversion='', gccversion='4.5.2', gccosandvers=''
    intsize=4, longsize=4, ptrsize=4, doublesize=8, byteorder=1234
    d_longlong=define, longlongsize=8, d_longdbl=define, longdblsize=12
    ivtype='long', ivsize=4, nvtype='double', nvsize=8, Off_t='off_t', lseeksize=8
    alignbytes=4, prototype=define
  Linker and Libraries:
    ld='cc', ldflags =' -fstack-protector -L/usr/local/lib'
    libpth=/usr/local/lib /lib /usr/lib /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu /lib64 /usr/lib64
    libs=-lnsl -ldb -ldl -lm -lcrypt -lutil -lc
    perllibs=-lnsl -ldl -lm -lcrypt -lutil -lc
    libc=, so=so, useshrplib=false, libperl=libperl.a
  Dynamic Linking:
    dlsrc=dl_dlopen.xs, dlext=so, d_dlsymun=undef, ccdlflags='-Wl,-E'
    cccdlflags='-fPIC', lddlflags='-shared -O2 -L/usr/local/lib -fstack-protector'

Locally applied patches:

@INC for perl 5.15.2:

Environment for perl 5.15.2:
    LD_LIBRARY_PATH (unset)
    LOGDIR (unset)
    PERL_BADLANG (unset)

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