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These Simple Four Lines of Mathematic Confound Me -- Bug?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg121414] These Simple Four Lines of Mathematic Confound Me -- Bug?
  • From: James Stein <mathgroup at stein.org>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2011 05:15:02 -0400 (EDT)
  • Delivered-to: l-mathgroup@mail-archive0.wolfram.com

I've boiled this puzzlement down to bare bones:

   Clear [ g ];
   g := { NumberForm [ 13.0, { 5, 3 } ] };
   g
   % // N

Line 3 gives the output:  {13.0}  (as expected)
Line 4 gives the output:  {13.}     but first gives this error message:

NumberForm::iprf :  "Formatting specification =91=99{\"5.\", \"3.\"} should be \
a positive integer or a pair of positive integers."

Line 4 seems to cause 'g' to be called. Why?
And how has the formatting spec {5,3} been converted away from integers?
(running Mathematica 8.0.1.0 on a Macintosh)




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