Classical mathematics has no notion of a negative zero. Zero is often termed neither positive nor negative. In computing, however, there is a concept of signed zero.
The IEEE 754 standard for floating point arithmetic (presently used by most computers and programming languages that support floating point numbers) requires both +0 and −0. The zeroes can be considered as a variant of the extended real number line such that 1/−0 = −∞ and 1/+0 = +∞, division by zero is only undefined for ±0/±0 and ±∞/±∞.
Although we often don’t distinguish between
0 in everyday programming, it might be useful for rare cases. For example, a negative zero can be used to express a sense of direction (left or right, up or down). This could also be helpful in representing a moving object on a map (x and y coordinates).
0 should be treated different, the conventional equality operators
=== treat them as same (according to the rules of equality).
const a = 0; const b = -0; console.log(a == b); // true console.log(a === b); // true
In order to correctly compare
0 we should use the
Object.is() unlike the
== operator, doesn’t coerce and unlike the
=== operator doesn’t treat values differently.
const a = 0; const b = -0; console.log(Object.is(a, b)); // false
=== also treats
NaN as same.
console.log(NaN == NaN); // false console.log(NaN === NaN); // false console.log(Object.is(NaN, NaN)); // true
Math.sign() can be used to determine the sign of a number. It also exhibits a different behavior when working with zeroes.
// for non zero values console.log(Math.sign(13)); // 1 console.log(Math.sign(-13)); // -1 // for zeroes console.log(Math.sign(0)); // 0 console.log(Math.sign(-0)); // -0
Personal blog of Divyanshu Maithani. I’m a software engineer working mostly on frontend. I also create programming videos with my friend. In my spare time I play music and DoTA.
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