Eric Snow ericsnowcurrently at
Thu Apr 28 18:21:03 CEST 2011

There's a big discussion going on at python-dev and python-ideas about NaN
(not-a-number, from IEEE 754).  I haven't really gotten into any scientific
computing or numeric programming so I have never knowingly dealt with NaN.
 However, I have read the discussions and several things are not clear:

1. Why is NaN not an exception?  (not "why not change it to one?"  Changing
it now would probably break stuff.)
2. What are the use cases for NaN?  Looks like it gets used a lot as a
numeric (float?) object with non-value.

Any clarification would be really helpful.  Thanks!

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