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*To*: common-lisp@su-ai*Subject*: sqrt(-1)*From*: fateman%UCBKIM@Berkeley (Richard Fateman)*Date*: Mon, 06 Jun 1983 14:23:00 -0000

Actually, I am tired of bringing this stuff up, but let me point out some of the logical extensions. Let us say you are free to choose a different form for the answer, depending on the value. That is what Alan Bawden says. Well, how about having the exponential function choose a different float format if the exponent would otherwise underflow or overflow? How about having (pardon Maclisp syntax, which may in fact be wrong here) (do ((i 10.0 (times 10 i)))nil (print i)) print forever, starting with small floats (with small exponents), going to bigger floats, and then, in the interests of preserving mathematical properties like (x*10)/10 = x, going to bignum integers. Do you really know the cost of not knowing that sqrt(float) is a float? If someone expects a real and gets 0+1*i, does it come out as 0? In which case is sqrt(-1) = 0 ? Are you serious about people using CL for arithmetic? If so, I suggest you find some people who are serious about using arithmetic, and have thought about it more.

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