integers and floating points

Laurent Martelli
27 Oct 1999 19:10:04 +0200

>>>>> "ABW" == Alaric Williams <> writes:

  ABW> On 27 Oct 1999, Laurent Martelli wrote:

  >> Yes, but the set of integers is a subset of the reals, so they
  >> are not so different. That's why we exepect to be able to add an
  >> integer and a real.

  ABW> "real" and "floating point" are different things... we CAN do
  ABW> exact arithmetic with reals; consider that any real number must
  ABW> be the result of an expression, such as "root 2" or "pi", so
  ABW> you can just store it as the expression and do everything with
  ABW> symbolic manipulations!

  ABW> "real" is something in the mathematical domain, "floating
  ABW> point" is one (approximate) implementation of "real", and a
  ABW> poor one at that!

I was just about to point this. Integers and reals differs when you
want to display them : there's a finite decimal representation of any
integer, but this is not true for reals. 

So I think that we should be able to handle real an integers, and have
means to control the way they are displayed with approximations. There
are two distinct issues, and we shouldn't mix them.

Laurent Martelli