[Python-Dev] re: %b format (no, really)
Guido van Rossum
Fri, 08 Jun 2001 12:06:19 -0400
> Prompted in part by the comment in Michael Hudson's
> python-dev summary about this discussion having died,
> I'd like to summarize:
> 1. Most people who commented felt that a base-2 format
> would be useful, if only for teaching and debugging.
> With regard to questions about byte order:
> A. Integer values are printed as base-2 numbers, so
> byte order is irrelevant.
> B. Floating-point numbers are printed as:
> [sign] [mantissa] [exponent]
> The mantissa and exponent are shown according
> to rule A.
Why bother with floats at all? We can't print floats as hex either.
If I were doing any kind of float-representation fiddling, I'd
probably want to print it in hex anyway (I can read hex). But as I
say, that's not for the general public.
> 2. Inventing a format for converting to arbitrary
> bases is dubious hypergeneralization (to borrow a
> 3. Implementation should mirror octal and hexadecimal
> support, e.g. a 'bin()' function to go with 'oct()'
> and 'hex()'.
> 4. The desirability or otherwise of a "%b" format
> specifier has nothing to do with the relative
> merits of any early microprocessor :-).
> If no-one has strong objections, I'll put together a
> PEP on this basis.
Go for it. Or just submit a patch to SF -- this seems almost too
small for a PEP to me. :-)
--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)