Submitter: Fred J. Tydeman
Submission Date: 2016-01-18
Document: WG14 N1995
In trying to determine if exp(infinity) is a range error, I have come across an unwritten assumption (held by many members of the committee) with respect to: "if <violation> then <consequence>". WG14 email messages 13920 to 13937 (with subject of: Meaning of IF-THEN) have a discussion of this.
Message 13925 has in part: That these "if-then" statements were meant to follow the ordinary-language model, where "if <violation> then <consequence>" promises that <violation> would necessarily lead to <consequence>, but nothing more. That is similar to the Boolean model. But that has to be combined with a general rule that when the C standard doesn't mention <consequence> as a visible action in some well-defined circumstance, then it is guaranteed that it does not occur.
Message 13925 also has: There is a related issue: Just because some defined behavior is allowed to fail, it was not intended that it could always fail.
Message 13937 has in part: In general, when the C standard doesn't say that something specific is supposed to happen, it intended that nothing happens. Explicit permission is given for errno to be set under certain circumstances
Suggested Technical Corrigendum
Add to 4.0 Conformance after paragraph 1, words along the lines of:
Unless stated otherwise (errno is one such otherwise), when the C standard doesn't say that something specific is supposed to happen, it is intended that nothing happens. Also, just because some defined behavior is allowed to fail, it was not intended that it could always fail.