[Python-Dev] Release Schedules (was Stability & change)

Tim Peters tim.one@comcast.net
Tue, 09 Apr 2002 02:49:43 -0400

[Alex Martelli]
> ...
> FWIW, I was originally slightly wary of int/long unification, but
> having tried it out to the extent in which it's in 2.2 I like it now.
> I don't remember why I had been left with that wariness from (I
> think) Scheme experiences -- maybe too-slow machines back
> then, or careless arithmetic on my part at the time.

I'll suggest that what's saved you from that in Python so far is that
division still "truncates" (in one way or another).  As soon as you mix a
few divides and adds in a Scheme that supports rationals (not all do, but
most popular ones do), the magnitude of the denominators tends toward
infinity faster than you can plug in more RAM chips.

Guido and I both had this experience using ABC (which used unbounded
rationals by default), and it was especially easy to fall into time/space
difficulties in ABC because even "floating point" literals (like 6.02e23 and
3.017e-100) were treated as exact rationals.  Guido assures me that latter
was his idea, BTW.  I'm still trying to find a way to forgive him -- it's
not nearly enough that he'll never repeat that mistake <wink>.