## Bug #16518

### Should we rationalize Rational's numerator automatically?

**Description**

In this Rails issue we found that using `BigDecimal`

as a `Rational`

's numerator can have inconsistent behaviors when the denominator gets bigger. For example:

> 1 == BigDecimal(1) => true > Rational(1, 1) == Rational(BigDecimal(1), 1) => true > Rational(1, 6) == Rational(BigDecimal(1), 6) => true > Rational(1, 60) == Rational(BigDecimal(1), 60) => false

So my question is, is this behavior expected?

If it's not expected, do we have a plan to fix it?

If it is, does it make sense to manually rationalize the numerator before passing it into the `Rational`

call, in order to get a consistent result?

#### Updated by Eregon (Benoit Daloze) 2 months ago

**Assignee**set to*mrkn (Kenta Murata)*

This seems due to the fact `Rational(BigDecimal, Integer)`

does not return a Rational but a BigDecimal!

That seems highly surprising to me, any `Foo()`

"constructor" should return a `Foo`

, isn't it?

Also a `Float`

as numerator correctly produces a Rational, so the bug seems to be with BigDecimal as a numerator:

```
> Rational(BigDecimal(1), 2).class
=> BigDecimal
> Rational(BigDecimal(1).to_f, 2).class
=> Rational
```

#### Updated by st0012 (Stan Lo) 2 months ago

Thanks for the quick response!

I also found that it returns `BigDecimal`

if any of its arguments is a `BigDecimal`

:

irb(main):005:0> Rational(BigDecimal(1), 1).class => BigDecimal irb(main):006:0> Rational(BigDecimal(1), BigDecimal(1)).class => BigDecimal irb(main):007:0> Rational(0, BigDecimal(1)).class => BigDecimal irb(main):008:0>

#### Updated by elct9620 (ZhengXian Qiu) 2 months ago

After a quick trace of the source code, the problem is BigDecimal is a subclass of Numeric but defined in Ruby.

The `nurat_conver`

method check for argument type and convert to Rational, but the Numeric doesn't.

Ref: https://github.com/ruby/ruby/blob/5275d8bf4c43db9f057d24a26cf33ecd69f8b345/rational.c#L2632

When it calls the `f_div`

method, it calculates it directly without converting them to Rational.

We can simply force convert the result, but I didn't think it is the best way:

return to_rational(f_div(a1, a2));