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201. Numeric limits terminology wrong

Section: 17.3 [support.limits] Status: CD1 Submitter: Stephen Cleary Opened: 1999-12-21 Last modified: 2017-06-15

Priority: Not Prioritized

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In some places in this section, the terms "fundamental types" and "scalar types" are used when the term "arithmetic types" is intended. The current usage is incorrect because void is a fundamental type and pointers are scalar types, neither of which should have specializations of numeric_limits.

[Lillehammer: it remains true that numeric_limits is using imprecise language. However, none of the proposals for changed wording are clearer. A redesign of numeric_limits is needed, but this is more a task than an open issue.]

Proposed resolution:

Change 17.3 [support.limits] to:

-1- The headers <limits>, <climits>, <cfloat>, and <cinttypes> supply characteristics of implementation-dependent fundamental arithmetic types (3.9.1).

Change [limits] to:

-1- The numeric_limits component provides a C++ program with information about various properties of the implementation's representation of the fundamental arithmetic types.

-2- Specializations shall be provided for each fundamental arithmetic type, both floating point and integer, including bool. The member is_specialized shall be true for all such specializations of numeric_limits.

-4- Non-fundamentalarithmetic standard types, such as complex<T> (26.3.2), shall not have specializations.

Change 17.3.5 [numeric.limits] to:

-1- The member is_specialized makes it possible to distinguish between fundamental types, which have specializations, and non-scalar types, which do not.