Bits module -- early working version

Scott David Daniels Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org
Fri Feb 13 06:55:52 CET 2004

I've been working on a module to get at the bits of all numeric types
(no,  I haven't thought of how to solve the decimal data type that is
coming).  I've finally got the bits module to pass all of my own tests,
so I'm looking for bug reports, design critiques, and general input.  I
eventually plan to release this under an MIT-style license.  If you are
interested in seeing read access to the bits of python's numbers, and
want to see what I'm up to / critique someone else's work / volunteer to
help extend, check out:

If you want to know what questions I have, here are my current set:

1) Do you know a case that fails?
2) Should the names be lsb, lsbit, or lsbitno (and similarly for msb*)?
    I've gone with lsb, but cases can be made for the others.
3) Is "extract" the right name, or should I us a name more like "bits"?
4) Should bit(v, N) somehow be subsumed in extract(v, l, hi) (or
    whatever extract should be called)?
5) Have I adequately explained what these functions do?
6) Do these functions work as-is (from source) for various machines?
    I know/believe Intel x86/pentia work; what about alpha, 68K, ....
7) Should bitcount simply raise and exception on negative input?
8) If you supply an unexpected argument type for the number, should I
    try to calla corresponding method?  (__bit__ for bit, __msb__ for 
msb, ....)

So I'd like feedback before actually releasing.

-Scott David Daniels
Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org

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