Can you enlighten us as to Mathematica's way of handling numbers, either by a post or a link to suitable documentation? The little I've used Mathematica, I haven't noticed anything special.

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int, float, are computer engineering by-products

Xah Lee wrote:

«… One easy way to measure it is whether a programer can read and understand a program without having to delve into its idiosyncrasies. …»

Chris Angelico wrote:

«Neither the behavior of ints nor the behavior of IEEE floating point is a "quirk" or an "idiosyncracy". …»

they are computer engineering by-products. Are quirks and idiosyncracies. Check out a advanced lang such as Mathematica. There, one can learn how the mathematical concept of integer or real number are implemented in a computer language, without lots by-products of comp engineering as in vast majority of langs (all those that chalks up to some IEEEEEEE. (which, sadly, includes C, C++, perl, python, lisp, and almost all. (Common/Scheme lisp idiots speak of the jargon “number tower” instead IEEEE.) (part of the reason almost all langs stick to some IEEEEEEEE stuff is because it's kinda standard, and everyone understand it, in the sense that unix RFC (aka really fucking common) is wide-spread because its free yet technically worst. (in a sense, when everybody's stupid, there arise a cost to not be stupid.)))).

Xah

int, float, are computer engineering by-products

Xah Lee wrote:

«… One easy way to measure it is whether a programer can read and understand a program without having to delve into its idiosyncrasies. …»

Chris Angelico wrote:

«Neither the behavior of ints nor the behavior of IEEE floating point is a "quirk" or an "idiosyncracy". …»

they are computer engineering by-products. Are quirks and idiosyncracies. Check out a advanced lang such as Mathematica. There, one can learn how the mathematical concept of integer or real number are implemented in a computer language, without lots by-products of comp engineering as in vast majority of langs (all those that chalks up to some IEEEEEEE. (which, sadly, includes C, C++, perl, python, lisp, and almost all. (Common/Scheme lisp idiots speak of the jargon “number tower” instead IEEEE.) (part of the reason almost all langs stick to some IEEEEEEEE stuff is because it's kinda standard, and everyone understand it, in the sense that unix RFC (aka really fucking common) is wide-spread because its free yet technically worst. (in a sense, when everybody's stupid, there arise a cost to not be stupid.)))).

Xah

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3 comments

hi +François-René Rideau , it's probably going to be disappointing.

what i meant to point out is that Mathematica deals with numbers at a high-level human way. That is, one doesn't think in terms of float, long, int, double. Instead, you have concepts of machine precision, accuracy. The lang automatically handle the translation, and invoking exact value or infinity precision as required or requested.

in most lang's doc, it's quick to mention IEEE, and words like int, long, double, float, are part of the lang. These are not mentioned in M. The programer only need to think in terms of math, i.e. Real number, Integer, complex number, precision, accuracy, etc.

this is what i meat that most lang deals with computer engineering by-products, and i wished them to be higher level like M.

it's a rant anyway. :)

what i meant to point out is that Mathematica deals with numbers at a high-level human way. That is, one doesn't think in terms of float, long, int, double. Instead, you have concepts of machine precision, accuracy. The lang automatically handle the translation, and invoking exact value or infinity precision as required or requested.

in most lang's doc, it's quick to mention IEEE, and words like int, long, double, float, are part of the lang. These are not mentioned in M. The programer only need to think in terms of math, i.e. Real number, Integer, complex number, precision, accuracy, etc.

this is what i meat that most lang deals with computer engineering by-products, and i wished them to be higher level like M.

it's a rant anyway. :)

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