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Re: Using the GNU GMP Library for Bignums in Emacs

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Using the GNU GMP Library for Bignums in Emacs
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:40:38 -0400

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  > In C, if the type is unsigned then the corresponding value is 
  > nonnegative. That is, in C there is no such thing as a negative value 
  > with an unsigned type.

I know that (of course).  It looks like we are miscommunicating.

  > I certainly wouldn't want the behavior you suggest. Among other things, 
  > Emacs Lisp does not have unsigned types, and I'd rather not introduce 
  > such a concept into the language

I think you have misunderstood what I suggest.  I am talking about changing
the behavior of %x, nothing else.

I responded to a statement about what happens in C.  Did you misread that
as a proposal to change Emacs?

  > > In Emacs, 0xffffffff will be a bignum.

  > Whether 0xffffffff is a bignum will depend on the platform. On my 64-bit 
  > Emacs, 0xffffffff already is supported as a fixnum, and that wouldn't 
  > change if bignums were introduced to Emacs.

You're right about 64-bit systems.  I often forget they exist, since
I never use them.

My argument is valid nonetheless, because that quantity is a bignum on
_some_ systems.

If we were to support _only_ 64-but systems, this argument would cease
to be valid.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)
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