Issue #8883 has been updated by nagachika (Tomoyuki Chikanaga).

Backport changed from 1.9.3: UNKNOWN, 2.0.0: UNKNOWN to 1.9.3: UNKNOWN, 2.0.0: DONE

r43449, r43514 and r43525 are backported to ruby_2_0_0 at r43656.
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Bug #8883: Rational canonicalization unexpectedly converts to Fixnum
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/8883#change-42885

Author: melquiades (Paul Cantrell)
Status: Closed
Priority: Normal
Assignee: 
Category: lib
Target version: 
ruby -v: ruby 2.0.0p247 (2013-06-27 revision 41674) [x86_64-darwin12.3.0]
Backport: 1.9.3: UNKNOWN, 2.0.0: DONE


The documentation for Rational (http://www.ruby-doc.org/core-2.0.0/Rational.html) states that the result of creating or doing arithmetic on Rationals returns Rationals, as one would expect. Examples from the docs:

    Rational(1)      #=> (1/1)
    3.to_r           #=> (3/1)
    Rational(-2, 9) * Rational(-9, 2)  #=> (1/1)

These all work as documented in 1.9. In 2.0, however, they all return Fixnum:

    Rational(1)      #=> 1
    3.to_r           #=> 3
    Rational(-2, 9) * Rational(-9, 2)  #=> 1

This leads to unexpected behavior:

    Rational(2) / Rational(3)  # => 0  ...but returns (2/3) in 1.9

That behavior is potentially dangerous. Math that may *usually* work, but suddenly start suffering from truncation errors depending on intermediate results. For example:

  def should_always_return_one(a, b, c)
    (Rational(a, c) + Rational(b, c)) / (a + b) * c
  end

Under 1.9:

    should_always_return_one(2, 3, 7) #=> (1/1)
    should_always_return_one(2, 4, 7) #=> (1/1)
    should_always_return_one(2, 5, 7) #=> (1/1)
    should_always_return_one(2, 6, 7) #=> (1/1)

Under 2.0:

    should_always_return_one(2, 3, 7) #=> 1
    should_always_return_one(2, 4, 7) #=> 1
    should_always_return_one(2, 5, 7) #=> 0   Oops!
    should_always_return_one(2, 6, 7) #=> 1

Either the docs are wrong, or this is a bug. I vote bug. Whether arithmetic expressions truncate the result should not depend on whether intermediate values just happen to be integers! Such behavior renders Rational almost too dangerous to use in situations where exact results are required. (Yes, I realize that requiring 'mathn' fixes this, but even with such a workaround as an option, this is dangerously broken. See also #2121.) Note that floating point arithmetic does _not_ exhibit this behavior.



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