Subject: Re: macros vs HOFs (was: O'Caml)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 13 Sep 2002 15:06:27 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Bruce Hoult
| BCD makes conversion to and from printed form cheaper.  Other than that, 
| what is wrong with a binary representation?

  Let me remind you that you did not favor just "binary representation", but
  IEEE double-precision floating point, of which the "floating-point" part is
  The Wrong Answer, not binary representatio.  The difference lies in the
  exactness of fractional values, as I am sure you are aware at some level,
  and it is not sufficient simply to store dollar amounts in cents.  Exchange
  rates and stock prices have different fractional values (normally 100th and
  16th of a cent, although the latter is subject to some "modernization"), and
  computing with interest rates could require arbitrary precision.  Rounding
  in monetary matters also differs from mathematical rounding.  Most countries
  have laws that require rounding upward in the [.5, 1) range and down in the
  [0, .5) range, contrary to IEEE rounding with round-to-even, which is much
  fairer over time.  All in all, our cultures have decided long ago that the
  arithmetic properties of monetary amounts are different from the arithmetic
  properties of other mathematical values.  (This is one of many reasons why
  teaching children to do arithmetic operations on monetary values is harmful
  to their mathematical understanding of the number system.)

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.