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Re: Rational and complex numbers
- To: Richard E. Zippel <RZ@MIT-MC>
- Subject: Re: Rational and complex numbers
- From: Guy.Steele@CMU-CS-A
- Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1983 03:46:00 -0000
- Cc: common-lisp@SU-AI
- In-reply-to: "Richard E. Zippel's message of 12 Jun 83 16:36-EST"
Your points are well-taken, and I'm glad they are in the record.
Originally, I suppose that the S-1 LISP implementation (of which I
one implementor) was the primary proponent of complex numbers in
Common LISP, out of a desire to be able to exploit the S-1 hardware
and yet also able to develop software in other implementations.
Hence the need for at least Cartesian complex floating-point data type.
I do foresee one entirely plausible application for Gaussian integers,
which is graphics applications. For discrete bit-map representations,
Gaussian integers may be a very convenient representation. Some interesting
work has been done at Yale on picture languages that use complex numbers.
I also admit once again to harboring the secret ambition for some form
of LISP to supplant FORTRAN...