[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: mistake in manpage for expr

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: mistake in manpage for expr
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 10:24:28 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.1008 (Gnus v5.10.8) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

"Vajzovic, Tom" <address@hidden> writes:

> Of course, five minus seven is negative two, but the _difference_
> between five and seven is positive two, since differences are always
> positive.

Your usage disagrees with the traditional terminology.  For example,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arithmetic> says "if the minuend is
smaller than the subtrahend, the difference will be negative".

Also see page 105 of:

H. D. Huskey, Technical Developments: Characteristics of the Institute
for Numerical Analysis Computer, Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to
Computation, Vol. 4, No. 30. (Apr., 1950), pp. 103-108.

This shows that the idea that differences can be negative goes quite a
way back in computing.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]