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Re: physical constants that might need updating

From: Mark Galassi
Subject: Re: physical constants that might need updating
Date: Tue, 18 May 2021 22:30:58 -0600
User-agent: Notmuch/0.29.3 ( Emacs/28.0.50 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

> I agree it would be best to stay current [...] I am concerned
> that such a change could potentially break existing
> software which might depend on certain values.

Yeah, I agree that it is a problem, but in the end the old numbers need to be 
seen as a bug, and putting the newer numbers as a bug fix.

Regression tests often go bit-by-bit instead of allowing for a certain 
tolerance (an example of this is TeX's famous test suite), but when those tests 
break the authors can look at the GSL release notes, and update their ground 
truth to the new values.  This is the same thing people have to do with 
bit-by-bit regression tests when "non-physical-constant" bugs get fixed.

And of course there's an xkcd:

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