Skip Navigation - Comma Test

This is the most stupid program I've ever made. It is to demonstrate the "Decimal Symbol" problem. You can change the decimal symbol "on the fly". Enter the number with the comma and try to read back with the decimal point.

Well, it does not work properly in that way. Please try it out. It is made with Delphi 4 and the source code can be downloaded. The program was made to demonstrate a problem with a Motion Control Windows program made in the USA. This program runs only correct on computer where the decimal symbol is the POINT.

The problem is most common in Germany and France. Many customers lost several days before they solved the problem. Some of them were very frustrated and angry. After losing several days, they call me, and then changing the decimal symbol in Windows solved the problem.

Not all customers do accept this. They say that the software must be working on their computer with the standard European (comma) setting.

Some problems:

  • First move of a stepper motor takes one week
  • Machine runs good for a few years then some one makes a small change in the configuration; machine crashes complete, with some mechanical damage, etc.
  • Canadian machine with MX2000 goes to France. Small modification in set-up required. With the engineer from the Canadian factory on the phone the French man made whole machine out of order; nothing worked anymore. Engineer came from Canada with his own laptop and solved the problem in just a few minutes.

What goes wrong

The problem is caused only in the Project Configuration Files (PRJ). There the numbers are separated by commas. If these numbers contains also commas or any other decimal separator then the point, everything mixes up completely.

If there is a command like: INPUT X,Y to read two variables, then it can read 2.5,5.5 without any problem. If it reads 2,5,5,5 then it becomes a big mesh.

More information can be found in the help file.

The task does not use the decimal symbol. All number there requires the point. Any other symbol gives a compile error. Nobody has problems with this. Every body is willing to type the point as the decimal symbol.

It looks like the PRJ file is read with the INPUT command. With decimal point: INPUT A,B is possible. You can enter 4.5,5.5 No problem. With the comma we enter like: 4,5,5,5 the first 4 goes into the A and the first 5 into the B. The last two figures are lost.

Of course when we type by hand the point can be typed instead of the comma. This is no problem for our customers. When they type they can type the point instead of the comma. However, then the program should not accept the comma.

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PID: 2013 CLT: 0.002 LMD: 2013-Aug-17

Updated 2007 Oct. 09