Python Line Intersection

Lie Ryan lie.1296 at
Sat Apr 10 03:44:30 EDT 2010

On 04/10/10 16:24, Mark Tolonen wrote:
> "Chris Rebert" <clp2 at> wrote in message
> news:y2o50697b2c1004091304u627d99bfj44ad56fa76a3cc15 at
>> On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 11:43 AM, John Nagle <nagle at> wrote:
>>> Chris Rebert wrote:
>>>> On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 8:04 AM, Peyman Askari
>>>> <peter_peyman_puk at>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hello
>>>>> This is partly Python related, although it might end up being more
>>>>> math
>>>>> related.
>>>>> I am using PyGTK (GUI builder for Python) and I need to find the
>>>>> intersection point for two lines. It is easy to do, even if you
>>>>> only have
>>>>> the four points describing line segments
>>>>> (
>>>>> However, it
>>>>> requires that you solve for two equations. How can I do this in
>>>>> Python,
>>>>> either solve equations, or calculating intersection points some
>>>>> other way?
>>>> Just solve the equations ahead of time by using generic ones.
>> <snip>
>>>> x = (c - b) / (m-n)
>>> Actually, you don't want to do it that way, because it fails for
>>> vertical
>>> lines, when m and n go to infinity.
>> As the programmer said upon seeing a stripe-less zebra:
>> "Oh no, a special case!"
>> Excellent catch my good sir; although I will point out that strictly
>> speaking, you can't put vertical lines into slope-intercept form (but
>> I should not have forgotten that precondition).
> And parallel lines, where m and n are equal (divide-by-zero)...

This is actually one place where non-stop arithmetic can be a good thing.

With non-stop arithmetic, when you divide by zero, you get infinity and
everything turns out quite well.

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