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bug#32252: [PATCH] %o and %x now format signed numbers

From: Andy Moreton
Subject: bug#32252: [PATCH] %o and %x now format signed numbers
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2018 11:08:06 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (windows-nt)

On Tue 24 Jul 2018, Paul Eggert wrote:

> Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>> Do we really need to have identical or consistent behavior for fixnums
>> and bignums?  They are different beasts, so the behavior could be
>> different, provided that it makes sense for each of the varieties.
> I don't know what inconsistent behavior would make sense here. There's a
> longstanding tradition in Lisp that integer arithmetic just works, and I don't
> see why Emacs would want to fight against that tradition here. Although there
> may be some low-level functions that distinguish between fixnums and bignums
> for efficiency reasons, the vast majority of Lisp functions should not
> distinguish them, and 'format' should be one of those functions.
>> Maybe we should merge the branch first, let the dust settle and let
>> people use the new functionality, then revisit this stuff with more
>> experience on our hands.
> This particular patch is not primarily about bignums. It's more about (read
> (printf "#x%x" N)) returning N, which is basic functionality that should work
> even if we never add bignums. The fact that the patch also will make bignums
> easier is just icing on the cake.

It makes things more consistent at a cost of incomatibility with long
standing behaviour, and of making (format "%x") output useless for
humans to read. That is far too high a price for consistency.

> Although I understand the concern about the patch, the concern doesn't seem to
> be warranted, and any compatibility issues can easily be addressed by setting
> binary-as-signed.

No. The default value for this option should preserve backward
compatible behaviour.


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