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

Chiron at
Tue Mar 6 11:10:11 CET 2012

On Mon, 05 Mar 2012 22:34:46 -0800, Xah Lee wrote:

> while what you said is true, but the problem is that 99.99% of
> programers do NOT know this. They do not know Mathematica. They've never
> seen a

Could you please offer some evidence to support this claim?  Most of the 
programmers I've ever run into, were quite familiar with the notion that 
many aspects of their languages were artifacts of hardware limitations.  
You don't need Mathematica to figure out that (10.0 * 0.1) - 1.0 doesn't 
often equal 0.0.  The moment you try such comparisons with floats, you 
figure it out.  Oh, granted - the *first* time you try it, you might 
spend days trying to understand what's wrong.  But having done that, you 
will never, ever fail to understand about the evils of computer 

Anyway, most programmers probably get burned like this early on, if they 
forget that numeric representations in most languages are inaccurate.  
They don't need Mathematica to help them understand.

BTW, for those who don't have access to Mathematica, I highly recommend 
sagemath.  I have no way of making a comparison between the two (I have 
no access to Mathematica), but sagemath is mature, useful, and fast.

You will be singled out for promotion in your work.

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