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[Bug 275645] Re: xcalc has order-of-operations problems



My hypothesis in the original post is that, when the calculator should
close two levels of implicit grouping, it closes only one.  Regardless
of whether that is correct, there is a program, and it must follow some
algorithm, so there must be a rule, whether or not we know it.  If the
rule was programmed deliberately, then it was by design.

Of course, whether by design or not, it is a flaw.  @richwareham is just
wondering whether or not this is a flaw in the TI-30 or HP-10C
calculators that xcalc deliberately copies.  In other words, was the bug
introduced in those historical calculators, or was it introduced in
xcalc?  (And in the fomer case, then what should we do about it?)

This report is 7 years old, and I had forgotten ever making it, but the
bug is still there in my current system!  (Although to be fair, I'm
still running Ubuntu 12.04.)

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  xcalc has order-of-operations problems

Status in x11-apps package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  Binary package hint: x11-apps

  Under Ubuntu 8.04.1, running the version in x11-apps_7.3+1_i386.deb,
  the calculator program xcalc has problems with the order of

  To recreate this bug, run "xcalc" from the command line, then type
  "2*2^2+2=". The result displayed should be "10", but instead it is
  "12". Note that "2+2*2^2=", "2^2*2+2=", "(2*2^2)+2=", and "2*(2^2)+2="
  each give the correct result.

  My guess is that the program has problems when it must close two
  levels of implicit grouping at once. In effect, it treats the
  problematic input above as if it were "2*(2^2+2)=". This
  interpretation is consistent with other examples that I've tried.

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