[MATRIX-SIG] integer division -- what a concept!

Paul F. Dubois Paul F. Dubois" <dubois1@llnl.gov
Tue, 20 Jan 1998 07:49:12 -0800

An historical note: the original Matlab was a code (in Fortran) that Cleve
Moler wrote at the University of New Mexico as a teaching tool. In this
code, ALL numbers were complex. Further, you were limited to 10,000 of them.
I took this Matlab and removed the limit on the number of numbers by using
the dynamic memory features of LRLTRAN, LLNL's Fortran dialect. (During that
period, around 1981 I think, we had our own compiler group and our own
Fortran compiler that supported pointers). This allowed us to run Matlab on
the Cray 1 and analyze some of the large matrices that arise when
discretising PDEs.

Those of you who keep remarking that Fortran is OLD, and by inference
infering that I am also OLD, will rejoice in knowing that this is in fact
true. However, contrary to another remark, I in fact got my degree in
mathematics, not computer science (abelian groups!), and I bet you "modern"
youngsters haven't written a book about Eiffel. (:->.

Python is a strange language in which the objects are typed but the entities
are not declared. This permits an interesting degree of flexibility combined
with the ability to be type safe when you want to be. For example, you can
define your own Integer class in which division is always floating point
(hint, hint). Or complex, come to think of it.

Fortran 95, by the way, is strongly typed. It isn't fair to keep beating up
a twenty-year old version of the language.


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