# fractional parts

Richard Wackerbarth rkw@dataplex.net
Tue, 18 Jul 2000 18:26:17 -0400

```On Tue, 18 Jul 2000, Terry wrote:
> I have a question for the gnucash developer community regarding commodities,
> stocks etc. and how they are priced, traded, listed, whatever.
>
> I have always seen such things listed/priced/traded as single fractions, i.e.,
>
> a single stock would be "listed" as :  234 1/8
>
> or  234 3/8
>
> or sugar sells for 3 for 1.00 or 1 for 1/3 USD (price,  not what I pay)
>
> some of the common "fractions" I have seen are:
>
> 1/2, x/4, x/3, x/8, x/16, x/32
>
> occasionally I have seen 5 for 1 USD or 1 for 1/5 USD (price, and what I pay)
>
> 10 for 1 USD (or 1 for 1/10 USD) is common
>
> as is 1/6 or 1/12 ( 6 for 1 USD or 12 for 1 USD).
>
> What I have never seen is the following (and I am having great difficulty in
> trying to express this since I have never seen this in practice):
>
> stock listed at 234 3/8 1/32 (i.e., 234 USD + 3/8 USD + 1/32 USD).
>
> What I am trying to express here is the use of more than one fraction to
> express the units desired. The above could equivalently be expressed as:
>
> 234 13/32
>
> but what about something like:
>
> 234 3/8 1/5 == 234 + 3/8 + 1/5 USD
>
> That could equivalently be expressed as
>
> 234 23/40
>
> But that's not my point - I have never seen the use of more than one fraction.
>
> My question - has anybody???? Would there be a reason for using more than one ?
>
> This is not a trivial question - there is a valid reason for asking. The fact
> that I have not seen this in practice and wouldn't make sense to me, does not
> mean that it isn't used someplace.
>
> An ancillary question - what are the common fractions used. I have listed a few
> above:
>
> powers of 2: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 never seen anything higher
Bonds are sometimes expressed in 1/256 of 1/100
98 11/256 is a little less than face value.

> powers of 10: 1/10, 1/100, 1/1000,  never seen anything higher
>
> powers of 5: 1/5 never seen 1/25, etc.
>
> powers of 6: 1/6 never seen 1/36, etc.
>
> powers of 12: 1/12 never seen 1/144 etc.
per gross is not uncommon

> powers of 3: 1/3 never seen 1/9 etc.
>
> That leaves powers of 7, 11, 13, and more primes.
>
> Can anybody contribute other possible common fractions which are used in the
> world today?
>
> Again, I do have a valid reason for asking and which relates to gnucash
> directly.
I fail to see how this relates to gnucash. Just because there are a limited
number of fractions in common usage (I would guess that is caused by the human
inability to readily compare fractions with unlike denominators) I see nothing
to be gained by attempting to enumerate those denominators.

When we get to the allocation of cost, the denominators become more complex
because they can be any quantity that you can have in inventory.

```