How about adding rational fraction to Python?

Steve Holden steve at
Tue Feb 26 19:11:26 CET 2008

D'Arcy J.M. Cain wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Feb 2008 16:49:10 +0100
> Hrvoje Niksic <hniksic at> wrote:
>> "D'Arcy J.M. Cain" <darcy at> writes:
>>> I have not been following Python development that closely lately so
>>> I was not aware of that. I guess I won't be going to Python 3 then.
>>> It's great that Python wants to attract young, new programmers.  Too
>>> bad about us old farts I guess.
>> Before deciding to drop Python 3 on the grounds of integer division, I
>> recommend that you at least read PEP 238
>> ( to see arguments *why* the
>> division was changed.  Who knows, maybe they persuade you?
> I have.  They don't.  I'm not impressed by the fact that the same
> generation(s) that can't make change when the cash register is broken
> are surprised by integer division.  What can I say?  I learned
> arithmetic with paper and pencil and my head before I was allowed to use
> a calculator.  Integer division means integer result to me in a very
> real sense.  Arguing that integer division "should" return a float just
> sounds like proof by vigorous assertion to me.
> I suppose I will adapt but it really feels wrong.
Yeah, well, join the club, but I had this argument (and lost it) five 
years or so ago. Believe me, it *is* possible to continue a meaningful 
life when your favorite language makes a wrong-headed move :-)

I too am am member of the old farts club (but then Guido can't be that 
far off old fartitude by now ...)

Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC    

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