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On 29/03/16 09:38, lorieul wrote:
Hello to all,

I have found a fancy behavior of Calc but I cannot decide whether it is
a bug or a "feature". Hence I was looking for your advice before posting
a bug report (if required).

   1. Open LO Calc
   2. In A1 enter formula "=1-2^2" and press enter key
      The result shown is -3 which is ok since
      1-2² = 1-(2²) = 1-4 = -3
   3. In A2 enter formula "=-2^2" and press enter key
      I would expect this to be treated as -2² = -(2²) = -4
      But Calc considers it as (-2)² = +4
      Quite obviously, a work around is to define the formula as
      "=-(2^2)" which indeed returns -4

I've checked the wiki page dedicated to operators [1] but it does not
give much information on operator precedence.

From my standpoint, both examples show an inconsistent behavior of Calc.
For me, either we should have both 1-2^2 = 1+4 = 5 and -2^2 = +4
Or we should have both 1-2^2 = 1-4 = -3 and -2^2 = -4

However, perhaps some of you have a different view point on the matter ?
In other words, is that a bug or is it perfectly normal ?

It looks as though someone has been following a bad example.

A quick search brings up

which says

"There exist differing conventions concerning the unary operator − (usually read "minus"). In written or printed mathematics, the expression −3^2 is interpreted to mean 0 − (3^2) = −9 .... but in .... Microsoft Office Excel (and other spreadsheet applications) and the programming language bc, unary operators have a higher priority than binary operators"

Contrary to, eg, perl.

Ouch! Quite contrary to expectation. Here lie monsters :-)

Mike Scott
Harlow, Essex, England

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