Python "why" questions

geremy condra debatem1 at
Fri Aug 20 22:07:38 CEST 2010

On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 12:31 PM, Russ P. <russ.paielli at> wrote:
> On Aug 20, 11:19 am, geremy condra <debat... at> wrote:
>> Not sure what you read, but for me (mostly number theory, numerical
>> analysis, and abstract algebra) zero-based indexing is quite common.
> My background is in aerospace control engineering. I am certainly not
> familiar with the literature in pure mathematics, but I assume that
> the math textbooks I used on college used standard mathematical
> notation.
> If one-based indexing is becoming more common in the literature, I'll
> bet that is only because it is so widely used in computer programming
> -- not because the writers decided independently that it is a better
> notation. But that's just a guess on my part.

I can't speak for the motivation for selecting that notation, but I'm
not sure it matters anyway- if the rationale for a switch is to become
consistent with mathematical notation and the 0-based indexing is
becoming a common notation in that field then we achieve consistency
by standing still.

Geremy Condra

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