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Re: Low level things in C or Scheme [was Stupid module and pregexp quest

From: Robert Uhl
Subject: Re: Low level things in C or Scheme [was Stupid module and pregexp questions]
Date: 29 Apr 2003 22:27:23 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/21.2

Thamer Al-Harbash <address@hidden> writes:
> The funny thing is, thanks to guile's seamless use of arbitrarily big
> numbers (its numerical tower), I don't know if I *want* to do my
> number crunching in C anymore.

No offense to any of the developers, but guile has more of a numerical
ash-heap than a numerical tower.  I tried to fix it parts of it
(particularly, number->string's ridiculous insistence on base-10 for
fractions), but had issues with the compile and could get no assistance.
Don't even get me started on how the fractions don't stay fractions.
For a good look at a good numerical tower, take a look at umb-scheme.
It does a decent job (although it does not render (sqrt (/ 16 25)) as
4/5 but rather as 0.8).  It also can calculate up to at least (factorial
5547), while Guile gets a stack overflow.  Guile is very good at many
things, but its numerical tower is not the best,

> I have not noticed any significant penalty in performance.

I've been quite surprised by how fast Guile can be, and in fact how what
should have been optimisations in my Scheme can slow it down, it seems.
It's a rather remarkable beast, and one whose entrails I'd dearly like
to plumb.

I _really_ want to add the ability for number->string to work with
non-decimal bases.  Ten is such an _ugly_ base; twelve is much better.

Robert Uhl <address@hidden>
Cristo Resucitado!  En Verdad Resucitado!

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