Numeric comparison anomaly

Tim Peters tim.one at comcast.net
Fri Feb 21 04:23:30 CET 2003


[Erik Max Francis]
> Infinity as a limit needs either to be positive infinity or negative
> infinity; if unstated, it's positive infinity.  There's no "unsigned
> infinity."

There can be.  google on

    infinity affine projective 754

for recent history about this choice in relation to computer arithmetic.
The Intel 8087 floating-point coprocessor actually had a hardware flag to
choose between affine (two signed infinities) and projective (one signless
infinity) modes of operation.  Before its final draft, 754 switched from
specifying that projective mode was the default to dropping projective mode
altogether.  This was a contentious decision at the time.  Python still
ignores the issue entirely <wink>.






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