The floating-point environment
Prior to the 1999 ISO C Standard, no standard programming language offered a uniform way to access features of the floating-point environment. Until the advent of IEEE 754 floating-point arithmetic, no such access was even possible, because almost none of the older floating-point systems have programmable rounding directions or precision control, and floating-point exceptions are not dealt with by setting programmer-accessible flags, but instead are trapped by software interrupt handlers that set underflows to zero, and usually terminate the job on overflow or division by zero.
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