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st: Display of data in the Data Editor

From   "Allan Reese (Cefas)" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Display of data in the Data Editor
Date   Wed, 9 Aug 2006 12:34:05 +0100

Ngoc Anh asked why 6945.3 is displayed like 6945.299999.

Svend Juul explains, correctly, that computers work with binary numbers, 
and the number 6945.3 has no exact binary representation. 

The display in the data editor is controlled by the format for the number, which Ngoc Anh can change.  However, I recently fell foul of the finite precision problem by creating new cases by copy'n'paste.  Although the new cases looked to have the same value, they sorted separately from the old ones.

The command "replace x=x[_n-1] in 11/20" 
would have copied the value keeping the same random bits at the end.  Setting the format as %20.19 showed why the values as pasted were different.

Allan Reese

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