Precision and CD's

Mike Dewar miked at
Tue Jul 20 11:00:13 CEST 1999

> The radix = 17 was a nice touch :>, but certainly, given the bigfloat 
> defn, several applications will be perfectly justified in exporting 
> bigfloats w/ radix=16, and I probably wont have any control over it.
If bigfloats with arbitrary radix are basic (or did we decide to call
them primitive?) OpenMath objects then you are correct.  If we put them
into CDs then we could adopt a structure which had a "bigfloat base 2"
CD, a "bigfloat base 10" CD, and a "bigfloat base n" CD, for example.
This would allow you to choose whether or not to accept arbitrary radixes.
Personally I think this is overkill but it would cover all the bases, 
as it were (groan).

> So, I can expect my Live Math documents to look like this:
>   "The first zero of the Airy function, a_1, is at
>                                -9
>          a_1 = -160673517802x16
>     ..."
> Am I the only one that has a problem with this?
As you said, it was a "noble effort".  It seems to me that if you want to
change the base of your number then you need an application to do it, and
this goes beyond the strict requirements of rendering.



    Mike Dewar                             email: miked at
    Group Leader                           phone: (+44) 1865 511245
    Computational Mathematics Group        fax:   (+44) 1865 311205
    NAG Ltd, Wilkinson House, Jordan Hill Rd, Oxford, OX2 8DR


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