Re: [dev] Re: json

From: Mattias Andrée <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2019 13:37:59 +0200

On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 11:04:39 +0200
Markus Wichmann <> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 09:28:05PM +0200, Mattias Andrée wrote:
> > `long double` is able to exactly represent all values exactly
> > representable in `uint64_t`, `int64_t` and `double` (big float
> > can be used for other languages).
> Not guaranteed. What exactly a long double is, is different for each
> architecture. On the PC, you get an 80-bit IEEE 754 extended double
> precision number (the minimum necessary to qualify for that title is 79
> bits, and the Intel engineers threw in a completely useless "explicit
> integer" bit in to make it a round number).
> On AArch64, you get an IEEE 754 quad precision number (128 bits).
> Unfortunately, in the absence of hardware support for that, any use of
> the type adds large libraries to the runtime. And as of yet, I am not
> aware of any hardware implementation of that type.
> On PowerPC 64, you can get an IEEE 754 double-double. That is, a pair of
> double precision numbers. Their sum is the actual value that is being
> represented. No hardware support for that format directly, but since
> there *is* hardware support for double, the library needed is a rather
> thin wrapper.
> I said you *can* get a double-double on PPC, because you can also use a
> compiler flag to make long double equal to double. Musl for instance
> requires this, as double-double is not a supported long double
> representation.
> On almost all other platforms (arm32 I know, the others I'm not sure
> about) you get IEEE 754 double precision. Which doesn't have a large
> enough significand to store all 64 bit values.
> > In most cases, the
> > program know what size and precision is required.
> >
> That leaves one problem: Big Number support. Should the JSON library
> require a big number library be present, even for applications that
> don't need or want it? If not, how to avoid that? With dynamic linking
> that is impossible, to my knowledge. With static linking, you could get
> around it.
> But another, more organizational problem: If you have a JSON parser with
> bignum support from another library, most applications don't want to
> just load such a number, they will want to actually use it. And thus the
> JSON library is suddenly mandating the bignum library to use. Worse, if
> you have an application tying a JSON library and a cryptographic library
> together, then both of these have to agree on the bignum library in
> order to be compatible, or else the application has to link against
> *two* bignum libraries (yay for duplicate code), and the application has
> to translate between them. Because that's how I want my CPU cycles
> spent.

A JSON library could support only intrinsic types, and let the user
select a function that parses a string into a big integer. The library
only need to store it as a `void *`.

> Leaky abstractions are a b****.
> Ciao,
> Markus
Received on Sun Jun 16 2019 - 13:37:59 CEST

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