are int, float, long, double, side-effects of computer engineering?

Westley Martínez anikom15 at
Tue Mar 6 04:17:37 CET 2012

On Mon, Mar 05, 2012 at 05:11:09PM -0800, Xah Lee wrote:
> some additional info i thought is relevant.
> are int, float, long, double, side-effects of computer engineering?
> Xah Lee wrote:
> «… One easy way to measure it is whether a programer can read and
> understand a program without having to delve into its idiosyncrasies.
> …»
> Chris Angelico wrote:
> «Neither the behavior of ints nor the behavior of IEEE floating point
> is a "quirk" or an "idiosyncracy". …»
> they are computer engineering by-products. Are quirks and
> idiosyncracies. Check out a advanced lang such as Mathematica. There,
> one can learn how the mathematical concept of integer or real number
> are implemented in a computer language, without lots by-products of
> comp engineering as in vast majority of langs (all those that chalks
> up to some IEEEEEEE. (which, sadly, includes C, C++, perl, python,
> lisp, and almost all. (Common/Scheme lisp idiots speak of the jargon
> “number tower” instead IEEEE.) (part of the reason almost all langs
> stick to some IEEEEEEEE stuff is because it's kinda standard, and
> everyone understand it, in the sense that unix RFC (aka really fucking
> common) is wide-spread because its free yet technically worst. (in a
> sense, when everybody's stupid, there arise a cost to not be
> stupid.)))).
> A friend asked: «Can you enlighten us as to Mathematica's way of
> handling numbers, either by a post or a link to suitable
> documentation? …»
> what i meant to point out is that Mathematica deals with numbers at a
> high-level human way. That is, one doesn't think in terms of float,
> long, int, double. These words are never mentioned. Instead, you have
> concepts of machine precision, accuracy. The lang automatically handle
> the translation to hardware, and invoking exact value or infinite
> precision as required or requested.
> in most lang's doc, words like int, long, double, float are part of
> the lang, and it's quick to mention IEEE. Then you have the wide-
> spread overflow issue in your lang. In M, the programer only need to
> think in terms of math, i.e. Real number, Integer, complex number,
> precision, accuracy, etc.
> this is what i meat that most lang deals with computer engineering by-
> products, and i wished them to be higher level like M.

Try Fortran.

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