Rappresenting infinite

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 21:37:13 CEST 2007

avassalotti at gmail.com wrote:

> float('inf') works well, no?
>    >>> inf = float('inf')
>    >>> inf / inf
>    nan
>    >>> -inf
>    -inf
>    >>> inf / 0
>    ZeroDivisionError: float division
>    >>> 1 / inf
>    0.0
>    >>> 0 * float('inf')
>    nan

It is not cross-platform. The parsing of strings into floats and the string
representation of floats is dependent on your system's C library. For these
special values, this differs across platforms. Your code won't work on Windows,
for example. Fortunately, it doesn't matter all that much (at least for those
who just need to create such values; parsing them from files is another matter)
since infs and nans can be constructed in a cross-platform way (at least for
IEEE-754 platforms where these values make sense).

  inf = 1e200 * 1e200
  nan = inf / inf

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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