[MATRIX-SIG] integer division etc.

Charles G Waldman cgw@pgt.com
Tue, 20 Jan 98 13:17:27 EST

Paul Dubois wrote:

 > Python is a strange language in which the objects are typed but the entities
 > are not declared.

That sums it up well.

 > For example, you can define your own Integer class in which
 > division is always floating point (hint, hint). 

Of course, I'm aware of this.  But I thought we were talking about how
the literal expression "1/2" should be handled, not an expression like
Integer(1)/Integer(2) or Number(1)/Number(2).

Zane Motteler writes:
 > To me, saying that 1/2 ought to be 0.5 makes about as much
 > sense as saying "1"+"2" ought to be 3 rather than "12".
Clearly, "1" + "2" should come out to  "3".     ;-)

Actually, I think I'd like to retract my opinions on the integer
division issue.  The fact that I sometimes use Python as a teaching
tool was the motivation behind my desire for 1/2=0.5.  As a programmer
I understand the current behavior and can live with it, and think it
would be a bad idea to change the established behavior at this point
in Python's life.  So, when I teach beginning programming using
Python, I will just explain about "integer division" and explain
contexts in which it is useful.

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