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2 points by Pauan 2661 days ago | link | parent

"Should exact or inexact be the default subtype for num?"

I see at least a few good solutions:

1) Use floating point everywhere. This is what JavaScript (and Nulan) do. Simpler, but it means you give up exact math on rationals.

2) Use floating point by default but support coercing to exact. This may or may not lose information, I don't know. Alternatively, support exact by default and coerce to floating point.

3) Do things the way Racket does it, but when printing the number, coerce it to floating point. This is what Arc/Nu does:

  > 3/2
This has the benefit that math calculations are exact, but the result is printed in a more readable fashion (more readable to me anyways).

1 point by akkartik 2661 days ago | link

Thanks, I ended up going with the third option, but with a twist: display prints inexact but write prints exact. So at the prompt you still see exact numbers:

  arc> (/ 3 2)
  arc> (prn "aa: " (/ 3 2))
  aa: 1.5


1 point by Pauan 2661 days ago | link

Well, the whole reason I did it in Arc/Nu was because I liked to use the REPL as a calculator, and I hated having it print rationals. So, having the REPL print rationals kinda defeats the point in my eyes, but I don't care since I don't use Anarki.


2 points by akkartik 2661 days ago | link

Yeah, I don't actually want to see rationals at the prompt. It's just that lisp has this nice distinction between 'write and 'print, with the guarantee that 'read can handle anything 'write emits. I'm loath to have write+read change a value in subtle ways.

In this case, that the repl uses 'write is an unfortunate constraint. Still thinking..


2 points by akkartik 2661 days ago | link

Update: I just realized my print solution sucks:

  arc> (prn (/ 3 2))
  arc> (prn (list (/ 3 2)))
Rolling it back. Let's just explicitly use real for now.