How do you compare negative numbers with positive numbers?

Mark Schonewille m.schonewille at
Sun Dec 12 14:34:40 CST 2010

Hi Charles,

It's been a long time for me, but if I remember well you want either the first differences or the standard deviation.

function mean theNumbers
  return sum(theNumbers)/number of items of theNumbers
end mean

function firstDifferences theNumbers
  put mean(theNumbers) into myMean
  repeat for each line myLine in theNumbers
    add abs(myLine-myMean) to myCumulDiff
  end repeat
  return myCumulDiff/number of items of theNumbers
end firstDifferences

function standardDeviation
  put mean(theNumbers) into myMean
    repeat for each line myLine in theNumbers
    add( abs(myLine-myMean))^2 to myCumulDiff
  end repeat
  return sqrt(myCumulDiff/number of items of theNumbers)
end standardDeviation

on mouseUp
  put "-3.5,2.23" into myRow
  put mean(myRow) into myMean
  put firstDifferences(myRow) into myMeanDifferences
  put standardDeviation(myRow) into myStandardDeviation
  -- do with the variable whatever you want
end mouseUp

(Untested, please mind typos and other mistakes)

Best regards,

Mark Schonewille

Economy-x-Talk Consulting and Software Engineering
KvK: 50277553

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On 12 dec 2010, at 21:20, Charles Szasz wrote:

> I am computing an average of a series of numbers and then comparing each number with the average, which yields a deviation. Of course, there are instances where a negative deviation will occur when it is below the average. 
> Here is my problem. I need to be able to compare a negative number with a positive number and then give the user feedback about whether the negative number is greater in magnitude than the positive number. For example, comparing -3.5 with 2.23. How do you do this?
> Charles Szasz
> cszasz at

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