Literals

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Using number literals is simple. The easiest way to enter a number directly in code is to write it in normal decimal notation. Valid decimal literals include

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1337; -4; .8; 0.333; -1.414;

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As I brie y mentioned, you denote hexadecimal numbers by preceding them with 0x. To interpret a number as hexadecimal in ActionScript code, you do the same thing:

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var foo:uint = 0x12AB;

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Note

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When typing A F hexadecimal characters, case is ignored. 0xA is equivalent to 0xa.

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You can also use exponential notation to declare numbers. Exponential notation expresses a number as a real number times a power of ten. Typically this is seen in scienti c notation, where the real number part is always between 1 and 10. This kind of representation lets you focus on the relative sizes of numbers without expressing them in a lengthy string of digits, especially for very small or very large numbers, such as 6.02 * 1023 . When writing exponential notation in code, you use the character e to represent the base and to indicate that the value following it is the exponent. This same number, then, would be written as 6.02e23. The following are all valid exponential literals:

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2.007e3; // 2007 1414e-3; // 1.414 1.9e+17; // 190,000,000,000,000,000

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Caution

In earlier versions of ActionScript, you could also enter literal numbers in base eight, or octal, by preceding them with an unnecessary 0. This feature is likely to have caused more inadvertent errors than triumphs for octal notation, and it has been removed from ActionScript 3.0.

Edge Cases

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Each ActionScript type includes special values that are included in its possible range. These are indispensable for preventing your program from producing errors when certain edge cases occur.

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7: Numbers, Math, and Dates

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Not a Number

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The constant NaN represents not a number, a nonnumeric value included in the Number type. NaN is found in instances of Number that have not been assigned a value, as the result of failed conversions. Mathematical operations with nonreal or unde ned results also yield NaN, such as the square root of 1 or 0 divided by 0. Comparisons with NaN always return false, and most mathematical operations on NaN result in NaN. To check whether a number is de ned, don t try to compare its value to NaN. Instead, use the top-level function isNaN(), as follows:

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var n:Number; trace(n); //NaN trace(isNaN(n)); trace(n == NaN); n = Number("this trace(isNaN(n)); n = 10; trace(isNaN(n));

//true //false! That s why you use isNaN() won t convert into a number"); //true //false

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In ActionScript 3.0, Number instances can be only NaN or a real number never undefined or void.

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In nity

The Number type also has special constant values for positive and negative in nity: Number .POSITIVE_INFINITY and Number.NEGATIVE_INFINITY. If you end up with an in nite value, for instance by dividing a Number by zero, instead of an over ow or runtime error, the Number takes on one of the special in nite values. You can check in nite conditions through comparison, and the comparisons work as you might expect. Any nonin nite number is less than positive in nity and greater than negative in nity, although in nity equals itself.

var n:Number = 10 / 0; trace(n); //Infinity trace(n == Number.POSITIVE_INFINITY); //true trace(isFinite(n)); //false

Minimum and Maximum Values

Not counting in nity, physical limits are imposed on the size of numbers based on their implementation in the ActionScript Virtual Machine. For instance, you learned that 32-bit unsigned integers can go up to only 231 1. These real limits are documented by the MAX_VALUE and MIN_VALUE static constants of all three number classes. The constants refer to the overall maximum and minimum possible values for int and uint. For Number, they refer to the largest positive nite number that can be represented and the smallest nonzero, nonnegative number that can be represented:

trace(uint.MIN_VALUE); //0 trace(uint.MAX_VALUE); //4294967295 trace(int.MIN_VALUE); //-2147483648 trace(int.MAX_VALUE); //2147483647 trace(Number.MIN_VALUE); //4.9406564584124654e-324 trace(Number.MAX_VALUE); //1.79769313486231e+308

NaN and Infinity are concepts that apply to the Number type only. Integers, signed and unsigned,