Message from discussion bignums in clisp
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From: Paul Wallich <p...@panix.com>
Subject: Re: bignums in clisp
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2012 21:48:00 -0400
Organization: Trivializers R Us
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On 10/2/12 11:21 AM, Pascal J. Bourguignon wrote:
> Paul Wallich <p...@panix.com> writes:
>> On 10/2/12 10:54 AM, Ian Clifton wrote:
>>> Barry Margolin <bar...@alum.mit.edu> writes:
>>>> In article <20120928140653....@kylheku.com>,
>>>> Kaz Kylheku <k...@kylheku.com> wrote:
>>>>> They are not "bigger", just more, err, "magnitudinous"!
>>>>> Bigger means, strictly, occupying more RAM. :)
>>>> It obviously depends on the context. I'm pretty sure he meant it in the
>>>> normal, mathematical sense, in which 10 is bigger than 9.
>>> I suppose it would be possibleâ€”not perhaps sensible, but possibleâ€”to
>>> have a Lisp implementation whose bignum type had a length which could
>>> expand as necessary beyond integer to itself become a bignum of the same
>>> kind. Such a Lisp could represent any integer, I guess.
>> Aren't you going to run out of memory long before then? Perhaps there
>> should be bignums with some kind of sparse-byte or runlength encoding.
> Of course. There are a finite number of integers whose lengths are
> smaller than the number of particules in the Universe. On the other
> hand, there are an infinite number of integers whose lengths are bigger
> than the number of particules in the Universe. Such a trivial truth
> doesn't seem to be known even by "educated" people. I despair of
I certainly despair of its sense of humor.