Python "why" questions

Gregory Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Sat Aug 21 03:22:35 CEST 2010


Martin Braun wrote:

> Another thing worth mentioning (I guess here is a good a place as any
> other) is the fact that programming and mathematics are still pretty
> different things, despite how much we programmers would like to think
> ourselves as some kind of mathematician.  

Although when it comes to indexing, mathematics and programming
have remarkably similar issues. I've seen mathematics texts that
made a poor choice of index base and ended up with formulas
confusingly littered with plus and minus ones, or where I've
had to scratch my head a few times and look back to find out
whether a particular index was meant to start from 0 or 1.

Also it doesn't help that the sigma notation lends itself more
to closed than half-open intervals, which can lead to a
Hobson's choice between i-1 in the formulas and n-1 in the
summation range.

-- 
Greg



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