Friday, July 4, 2008

Factoid of the day

We've been asking the question at Sharendipity, "Does anyone know what a float is?"

We already know that some users don't know what it is, and in an attempt to simplify an interface for the creative but non-technical Sharendipity users, we've tried to find the right words to describe various "number" properties inside Sharendipity.

  • Whole numbers

  • Fractional number

I posed the question to my Twitter and Facebook networks, and smiled when I received this reply from friend Adam Hupp...

"It's an integer that wishes it was a Real.

My favorite float factoid is the next representable floating point number can be found by interpreting the float as an int and incrementing it, e.g.

float nextFloat(float f) {
    int asInt = *(int*)&f; 
    asInt += 1;
    return *(float*)&asInt;

Neat, eh?"

Sounds like Adam knows what a float is... But my sister in law reported back, "I googled it and still don't get it..."

We're going to try "Integer" for whole numbers and "Decimal" for fractional number properties.

What do you think?