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RE: [Axiom-developer] B#

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] B#
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 15:30:09 -0500

On November 21, 2005 2:56 PM Gaby wrote:
> ... 
> | > | I still think the referenced article is well balanced
> | > | and accurate.
> | > 
> | > I don't think so  If is full of confusion and misunderstanding.
> | 
> | You have given only one example of something you disagree with
> You're very kind in crediting me as author of the example you put
> forward :-)

Well, I suppose I should have been a little more careful with
my example. How about this:

$ gcc --version;cat cast1.c; gcc -o cast1 cast1.c; cast1
gcc.exe (GCC) 3.4.2 (mingw-special)
Copyright (C) 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

  'caste' example of weak typing in C
   Author: Bill Page
   Date: 21 Nov 2005
#include <stdio.h>
int main(int argn, char *argv[]) {
int i;
float j;

  i = 1;
  j = (float)i;
  printf("float: %d\n",j);
  return 0;
float: 0


Does this program conform to ISO C99? Does it compile with
your newer version of gcc? Does it produce a result that you
> ... 
> | > Unfortunately, many people take it as a Bible sentence
> | > don't go and do a minimum scrutinity as would be required
> | > in a scientific setting :-(
> | > 
> | 
> | Maybe some people do, but I do not intend to accept such an
> | attitude. I think I have applied much more than "minimum
> | scrutiny" to this article. Of course it is difficult to be
> | entirely accurate in an article that is intended to be at
> | most one or two pages.
> Well, don't take it as a personal thing.  My comment was very
> broad and was not targetting you specifically.  It upset me you
> took it personally.

No problem, I do not mind being "targetted" even if you did
not intend it. Please don't worry that I took it "personally",
but I did take it seriously and I think you meant it seriously,

> ... 
> Notice I'm not disputing that the term "strong typing" is
> ambiguous. I'm disagreeing with the claims that the C
> programming language was supposed to illustrate.

Do you think my improved example illustrates this point?

> (I know of lot of deficiencies in C -- it is hard not to,
> when you're involved in its specification and implementation)
> but none of the examples I've so far are illustrative of the
> claim of "weak typing".

I am very glad that you have been active in the standardization
of C and that you are here discussing Axiom. Perhaps some day
we will be talking about standardization of computer algebra

> | Could you provide a reference to a short article that you
> | think is less "full of confusion and misunderstanding"?
> About C?  The shortest is the ISO C specification :-)

That is a pity.

Suppose we agree to strike all references of C from the
Wikipedia article:

then would you consider it a reasonable brief discussion of
type systems in programming languages?

Bill Page.

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