Rational Numbers

Nick Maclaren nmm1 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Sat Jan 13 10:59:49 CET 2007

In article <pan.2007. at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au>,
Steven D'Aprano <steve at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au> writes:
|> > 
|> > Some of the algebraic languages.  (2/3)^(1/5) is held as such and
|> > manipulated appropriately.
|> > 
|> > Yes, I know that's "cheating" :-)
|> I see your smiley, and I still don't understand. Why on earth would you
|> call it cheating for a language to have a data type that is suitable for
|> the data being used? Maybe it's a form of humour I don't get -- like
|> pointing at a car and saying "Look, a cow!".

Oh, because it's not a proper data type!  The data type is an expression,
and is held in a structured form, of which such powers may be one level.
This is better regarded as an optimisation of a common case than a true
data type.  Now, there MAY be such a language that supports such things
as a proper data type, but I don't know of one.

Nick Maclaren.

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