[Python-Dev] [RELEASED] Python 3.3.0 release candidate 3

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Sun Sep 30 08:18:50 CEST 2012

On 9/29/2012 2:38 PM, Guido van Rossum wrote:

>> Does this mean we want to re-open the discussion about decimal constants?
>> Last time this came up I think we decided that we wanted to wait for
>> cdecimal (which is obviously here) and work out how to handle contexts, the
>> syntax, etc.
> I think that ought to be a Python 4 feature if we ever want it to be a
> feature. And I'm not saying this to kill the discussion; I just think
> it will be a huge change that we have to consider very carefully.
> While the existing float definitely has problems for beginners, it is
> incredibly useful for advanced users. Consider e.g. the implications
> for numpy / scipy, one of the fastest-growing specialized Python user
> communities.

It is also one of, if not *the* oldest application communities.

> Now if you want to introduce a new notation for decimals, e.g. 3.14d
> and 1e42d, that would be a fine thing. (Should we also have complex
> decimals? 1jd anyone?)

I think not. The money community does not use complexes that I know of, 
and complex decimals would not be very useful without a complex decimal 
module (and 3rd party modules). Even the complex float operations and 
cmath library could use work to touch up and test corner cases.

I can imagine giving IDLE a calulator mode. If Python itself had a 
startup switch, Idle could just restart the remote process. If a new 
suffix is used, Idle could add the suffix as literal numbers are entered.

Terry Jan Reedy

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