Against PEP 240

Robin Becker robin at
Tue May 29 21:17:12 CEST 2001

In article <mailman.991152224.8133.python-list at>, Paul Prescod
<paulp at> writes
>This seems like a pretty emotional argument to me. I don't see any
>technical justifications.
>Robin Becker wrote:
>> I am strongly opposed to the intent of PEP 240. I would prefer the
>> literal floats to remain. Let those that want infinite precision pay the
>> price by adding an 'R' to their literals. 
>Why should those that want correct answers pay the syntactic price
>rather than those that want performance?

tradition, consistency with other languages that are used for floating
point arithmetic.

>> This PEP seems purely biassed
>> towards the needs of naive programmers and I feel that is wrong; this
>> whole industry has grown up with the old style (and coped quite well).
>> If naive users are to be the only designers we'll end up badly.
>Naive users are not the only design target but I think that there is a
>certain logic in preserving the *simplest syntax* for the naive users
>and using more sophisticated syntaxes for more complicated ideas.

Only if you want to abandon the past.

If we're forced to use 'f' or 'F' I don't mind. We can do double
precision in the same way ie use 'D'.

The exponentiation notation can then be used by both rationals and

Are complex numbers, floats and rationals and ints to be freely mixable?
Robin Becker

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