[Python-ideas] math.inf and math.nan constants

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Wed Jan 7 19:35:33 CET 2015

On Wed, Jan 07, 2015 at 08:16:18AM -0800, Guido van Rossum wrote:

> I suppose you would also be in favor of defining e = math.exp(1) in 
> favor of math.e?

Euler's Number e is an important mathematical constant, but I'm not sure 
that it is a useful *programming* constant, more useful than (say) γ, 
the Euler-Mascheroni constant which is also ubiquitous in mathematics. I 
can't think of any reason to use e on its own, apart from exponentials 
and logs, where we have functions which are more accurate than calling 
e**x directly.

If e wasn't already in the math module, I don't think there are enough 
use-cases to justify adding it. Plenty of other languages don't (e.g. 
Haskell and Lua). I think math.tau would be much more useful and 
important than e :-)


> I say bah to that long-winded diatribe.

Long-winded, perhaps, but a diatribe? (Definition on WordNet: 
"thunderous verbal attack".)


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