Does python suck or I am just stupid?

Steve Holden sholden at holdenweb.com
Mon Feb 24 14:20:10 CET 2003


"Gareth McCaughan" <Gareth.McCaughan at pobox.com> wrote in message
news:slrnb5igjn.1b05.Gareth.McCaughan at g.local...
> News M Claveau /Hamster-P wrote (replying to me):
> > >>> Unfortunately, there's no way to make computer arithmetic work
exactly
> > >>> the way everyone expects
> >
> >  and BCD ?
>
> What about it? Working in decimal is not enough, on its own,
> to make everyone happy. If you work in limited precision,
> there will *always* be nasty numerical gotchas. If you work
> in unlimited precision, then you're doing full rational
> arithmetic rather than decimal as such, and there will be
> nasty performance gotchas instead. Not to mention that some
> people may be freaked out by getting answers expressed in
> rational form...
>

Not to mention that some numbers are irrational, and therefore can never be
computed no matter how far you extend precision.

The real (no pun intended) problem is that if a person doesn't understand
that many number representations are approximate anyway it's difficult to
persuade them than a digital calculator with ten significant digits doesn't
represent Absolute Truth.

whereas-we-know-you-need-at-least-fifteen-digits-ly y'rs  - steve
--
Steve Holden                                  http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming                 http://pydish.holdenweb.com/pwp/
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