Subject: Re: Numbers in Lisp (was: macros vs HOFs)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 13 Sep 2002 19:03:21 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Alexander Schmolck
| That CL deviates from this common behavior

  It does not.

| (e.g. how should division of the elements of a matrix of integers through an
| integer behave?).

  Look, learn the language first, /then/ construct hypothetical problems.  If
  you want a division of two integers to yield an integer always, you have the
  four subtly different operators that does precisely this.  Using the general
  division operator is Just Plain Wrong.  Quit whining about non-problems.

| In addition and expression that evaluates to a float in one implementation
| might return a rational in another, which could lead to compatibility
| problems.

  Do you have any examples of this?

| I don't know what other things somebody might come up with, but I guess you
| get the idea.

  I see that you are happy constructing hypothetical problems, but you have so
  far not provided the connection from them to reality.  This is actually far
  more relevant than anything you can come up with in a vacuum.

| I'd be interested to know what the rationale for these decisions was.

  I believe this is part of the public record.  I have not checked this part
  of the specifications sufficiently closely, and even misremembered the issue
  on complex, but I believe the story on complex numbers have been covered
  sufficiently well in CLtL1 and CLtL2.

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.