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Format descriptors in NUMBER->STRING ?

In the Revised 3.99 Report, why were format descriptors replaced by mere
<radix>? That is,

 (NUMBER->STRING number radix)  vs  (NUMBER->STRING number format)

I don't object to the left form so long as the right form is also an essential
procedure. Why do I care?  Maybe I don't... so long as you explain to me how I
can get the precise control over FIX/FLO/SCI that I had with formats, without
having to write some non-trivial string frobbing procedures of my own.
(Uhm...this includes the possibility of separately controlling say the real
 and imaginary parts of a rectangular number embedded arbitrarily deep in some
 other aggregate number). Point is, this seems a mongo ducky hack for frobbing
 with scientific numbers... I would hate to lose such a boon.

Was this ever voted on, for instance at an authors meeting which I missed,
or was this the result of editorial oversight?