Numeric literals in other than base 10 - was Annoying octal notation
Erik Max Francis
max at alcyone.com
Thu Aug 27 03:53:04 CEST 2009
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Wed, 26 Aug 2009 10:58:12 -0700, Mensanator wrote:
>>> But I certainly wouldn't call it "binary", for fear of confusion with
>>> radix-2 binary.
>> That's my point. Since the common usage of "binary" is for Standard
>> Positional Number System of Radix 2, it follows that "unary" is the
>> common usage for Standard Positional Number System of Radix 1.
> Er, no, that doesn't follow. There is no such thing as a radix-1
> positional number system -- it just doesn't work.
> In any case, unary is the standard term for what I'm discussing:
> although Mathworld doesn't seem to know it.
Psst. That's a hint.
Googling for "unary number system" ("unary numeral system" just comes up
with endless mirrors of Wikipedia) gives Wikipedia as hit #1. Hit #2 is
from the Institute of Druidic Technology, another hint. The remaining
hits are pretty much people pontificating in discussion groups just as
they are in this one.
Yes, you can define something that works. But it's not the usual
mathematical definition of radix, so if you want to talk about it you
have to disclaim that it's not a proper base and that's you're making up
as you go. But you can't pretend like it's the "obvious" mathematical
meaning just because the usual mathematical meaning doesn't apply, which
is what you seem to be doing.
Erik Max Francis && max at alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
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