int/long unification hides bugs

kartik kartick_vaddadi at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 25 14:56:34 CEST 2004


there seems to be a serious problem with allowing numbers to grow in a
nearly unbounded manner, as int/long unification does: it hides bugs.
most of the time, i expect my numbers to be small. 2**31 is good
enough for most uses of variables, and when more is needed, 2**63
should do most of the time.

granted, unification allows code to work for larger numbers than
foreseen (as PEP 237 states) but i feel the potential for more
undetected bugs outweighs this benefit.

the other benefit of the unification - portability - can be achieved
by defining int32 & int64 types (or by defining all integers to be
32-bit (or 64-bit))

PEP 237 says, "It will give new Python programmers [...] one less
thing to learn [...]". i feel this is not so important as the quality
of code a programmer writes once he does learn the language.

-kartik



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