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Author rhettinger
Recipients alex, belopolsky, daniel.urban, mark.dickinson, rhettinger
Date 2011-05-03.18:58:03
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Alexander, I urge you to take a good deal of care with this tracker item and not make any changes lightly.  Take a look at how other languages have dealt with the issue.

Also, consider that "unorderable" may not be the right answer at all.  The most common use of NaNs is as a placeholder for missing data.  Perhaps putting them at the end of a sort is the right thing to do (c.f. was databases do with NULL values).

The other major use for NaNs is a way to let an invalid intermediate result flow through the remainder of a calculation (much as @NA does in MS Excel).  The spirit of that use case would suggest that raising an exception during a sort is the wrong thing to do.

Another consideration is that it would be unusual (and likely unexpected) to have a type be orderable or not depending on a particular value.  Users ask themselves whether floats are orderable, not whether some values of floats are orderable.

I strongly oppose this patch in its current form and think it is likely to break existing code that expects NaNs to be quiet.
Date User Action Args
2011-05-03 18:58:04rhettingersetrecipients: + rhettinger, mark.dickinson, belopolsky, alex, daniel.urban
2011-05-03 18:58:04rhettingersetmessageid: <>
2011-05-03 18:58:03rhettingerlinkissue11949 messages
2011-05-03 18:58:03rhettingercreate