[Maxima] strange behaviour with simple decimals
toy.raymond at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 20:28:37 CDT 2007
Robert Dodier wrote:
> On 4/12/07, Daniel Lakeland <dlakelan at street-artists.org> wrote:
>> I vote for fpprintprec = 6.
> I think I'm in agreement with this.
After reading the entire thread, I think I'm in disagreement with this. :-)
I don't think it solves anything. You still have to explain why
1.4^2-1.96 produces -2.22045e-16 instead of zero.
If some user wants to see fewer digits, he can set fpprintprec himself.
I think the default should be for maxima to print as many digits as
needed to represent the floating point number as accurately as possible.
Of course, this means that maxima must do a good job of printing AND
reading floating-point numbers so that there is print/read consistency.
There are algorithms to do this correctly. I think the Common Lisp
spec basically requires this, even though many implementations don't get
it quite right all the time.
I also don't understand why the defaults for maxima should cater to the
least experienced and knowledgeable users. Maxima probably already does
things they can't understand. We aren't we clamoring to remove those
things too? :-)
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