>> There is public-domain C code that formats floating-point values as the
>> shortest string that parses back to the exact same value.   
>> thing that needs to happen is to interface Ruby with that code.

Is that code good enough or should we fix it at "x" digits?  I'd
probably prefer the code that formats it as the shortest string
possible [?]

>> If you make the assumption that Ruby programmers don't care about
>> floating point I/O performance, you will quickly surprised. :)
>
> I would certainly not assert that no programmers do, or that
> there are no domains that require it, but I am fairly sure
> that for most Rubyists float performance, I/O or otherwise,
> is not a significant factor. Perhaps I am mistaken in that.

I think the surprising part of it for me is that we have a  Fixnum ->
Bignum auto conversion "when a normal int would bite us" [like on
overflow] but do not have that same privilege with regard to the
floating point realm.  No auto conversion.  The bite remains.

That being said, I think the fear is that BigDecimal will be so very
slow that it would be too much of a performance hit.  As in probably
extremely slow.

The question then is which of these two unsultry choices you'd
prefer....well for me I would prefer the one that makes me worry less,
which would be BigDecimal :)

If the hit is deemed too hard though, I suppose the better formatting
at least helps us track down the bugs when they happen, if not avoid
them.
Thoughts?
-=r