[racket] LC53

From: Hendrik Boom (hendrik at topoi.pooq.com)
Date: Tue Nov 20 08:56:34 EST 2012

On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 11:02:06AM +0000, Norman Gray wrote:
> Hugh, greetings.
> I think list members might experience a certain amount of surprise at your conclusions...
> On 2012 Nov 20, at 02:34, Hugh Aguilar wrote:
> > For a numerical program it is necessary to have mixed-precision arithmetic. [...] Scheme, Python, Ruby, C/C++, Fortran, Java, etc., don't have this
> ...that Fortran is unsuitable for numerical programming,

Starting with Fortran, high-level languages have forgotten that the 
product of two numbers should be accurately available as a 
number with twice the precision.

NOw if the numbers were approximate to start with, this is no big deal, 
but if they were exact (as integers usually are), it can be crucial for 
some numerical algorithms.  It mystifies me why this situation has 
persisted for over half a century.

> > this is the kind of program that Scheme was designed for.
> ...and that Scheme was designed as a scripting language.

He didn't actually say Scheme was designed as a scripting language, 
though his message suggested it.  He said it was designed to write 
programs like his slide-rule program.  He also said that is *was* and 
excellent scripting language (which is true).

For the record, Scheme appears to have been designed as a successor to 
the Planner and Conniver systems (hence the name), which were AI 
languages noted for sophisticated control structures.  Hence the whole 
continuation mechanism, which makes explicit control of various kinds of 
data- and strategy-dependent scheduling mechanisms.

-- hendrik

> It might be worth getting a little further along in your study of a couple of Scheme dialects, before arriving at quite such confident conclusions.
> Best wishes,
> Norman
> -- 
> Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
> SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK
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