IEEE special values

Discussion in 'Python' started by Norbert Nemec, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. Hi there,

    is there any simple reason why IEEE special values are so poorly supported
    in python? Are there any serious efforts to change that? NaN and Inf are an
    extremely useful concept for numerical calculations and they would mix
    perfectly with the concepts in NumPy, anyhow, the support seems to be
    absolutely minimal.

    (The ideas in PEP 754 do not really change much: There is little use in easy
    access to those values, if the math functions don't accept them as input
    but break down.)

    Ciao,
    Nobbi
     
    Norbert Nemec, Aug 16, 2003
    #1
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  2. Norbert Nemec

    John Roth Guest

    "Norbert Nemec" <> wrote
    in message news:bhl7bi$ggg$-erlangen.de...
    > Hi there,
    >
    > is there any simple reason why IEEE special values are so poorly supported
    > in python? Are there any serious efforts to change that? NaN and Inf are

    an
    > extremely useful concept for numerical calculations and they would mix
    > perfectly with the concepts in NumPy, anyhow, the support seems to be
    > absolutely minimal.
    >
    > (The ideas in PEP 754 do not really change much: There is little use in

    easy
    > access to those values, if the math functions don't accept them as input
    > but break down.)


    Like a lot of things, Python's math functions are a rather thin layer
    on top of the native C library's math functions. If the C library's
    math functions, to use the vernacular, suck, then Python's math
    functions will do likewise.

    One of the essential problems is that every library does certain
    things differently, like deciding whether it's going to start up with
    silent or signaling NaN's, or what the actual string values are for
    NaN, infinity and so forth.

    It takes developer time to clean up that situation. I suspect
    that volunteers would be very welcome.

    John Roth

    >
    > Ciao,
    > Nobbi
     
    John Roth, Aug 16, 2003
    #2
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  3. Norbert Nemec

    Terry Reedy Guest

    "Norbert Nemec" <>
    wrote in message news:bhl7bi$ggg$-erlangen.de...

    > is there any simple reason why IEEE special values are so poorly

    supported
    > in python?


    A. They are poorly, and just as importantly, inconsistently supported
    in C.
    B. Python's floating point arithmetic and standard functions are thin
    wrappers of the C layer.

    TJR
     
    Terry Reedy, Aug 16, 2003
    #3
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