[erlang-questions] OTP float error on ARM

Mikael Pettersson <>
Wed Oct 15 14:39:33 CEST 2008

Bob Ippolito writes:
 > There's code in io_lib_format.erl that does the default format floats,
 > which assumes IEEE 754 floats. Perhaps the float<->binary code is
 > broken on your platform, or your platform doesn't do IEEE 754?
 > This is the code in io_lib_format (in R12B3 anyway, I don't have R12B4
 > installed on this machine):
 > mantissa_exponent(F) ->
 >     case <<F:64/float>> of
 >         <<_S:1, 0:11, M:52>> -> % denormalized
 >             E = log2floor(M),
 >             {M bsl (53 - E), E - 52 - 1075};
 >         <<_S:1, BE:11, M:52>> when BE < 2047 ->
 >             {M + ?BIG_POW, BE - 1075}
 >     end.
 > Does the output for this differ in your shell? If so, then your Erlang
 > VM isn't doing the right thing when converting floats to binary...
 > 1> <<1.0:64/float>>.
 > <<63,240,0,0,0,0,0,0>>

Off-hand I can't say if that code above is compatible with ARM's
more "exotic" FP formats, like the insane FPA format.
(Big-endian even on little-endian machines, or something like that.)

What I can say is that R12 built natively with a softfloat VFP
toolchain works for me on both big- and little-endian machines.

Q1. Is the target machine big or little endian?
Q2. What's the FP format? hard or soft? FPA or VFP?
    Or something else like Maverick?

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