On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM, Kevin <darkintent / gmail.com> wrote:
> Aren't Statistical calculations where the current behavior would be
> desired a special rather than general case though?

It's not some statistical calculations only.  Just think of statics
calculations.

> =A0If this particular
> gotcha is coming up every six months and the types of tasks that would
> benefit from this behavior is smaller than those that are harmed by it
> shouldn't the default behavior be adjusted to account for this?

Math is such a fundamental thing that you do not want to risk breaking
anything at all by changing this.  The standard is set and other tools
are available which are only mildly awkward.  So we could do it *if*
cost of keeping the old is higher than cost of change as you said.
But: the cost of keeping things is actually much lower than cost of
change (which unfortunately constantly seems to be underestimated in
SE); it's merely the effort for everybody new to the domain of numeric
mathematics to learn its fundamental rules (plus our explanations and
the little additional typing for BigDecimal usage.)  And the good
thing is: this knowledge is portable to other languages as well.
Compared to that the cost of only estimating what the change would
break is dramatic.

Cheers

robert

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