[Maxima] Rational powers and simplification
fateman at cs.berkeley.edu
Sun Aug 30 14:51:30 CDT 2009
Stefano Ferri wrote:
> I think this could be a nice feature. This would only affect display
> and not internal representation right? Maybe it could be useful in
> association to a display variable to let users choose between the
> display of rational exponents and square roots.
> In a humble user opinion :-)
Usually it is a bad idea for the display to stray too far from the
internal representation because then some obvious properties become false.
Like 2*sqrt(2) looks like it is a product of two items, but internally
it is an exponentiation.
Already there is some divergence, in that the expression (a+1)/(b+1)
is internally (a+1)* (b+1)^(-1),
although the problems it causes are probably outweighed by the benefits.
Also, there are generalizations that you might consider as an issue.
Is 3^(5/3) supposed to be 3 * 3^(2/3) ? or do you mean to mess with
the display of Just SquareRoots?
How about 2^(x+1), should that become 2*2^x?
How about 2^(x+1/2), should that become 2^x*sqrt(x)?
How about exp(3/2), should that become %e*sqrt(%e) ?
I'm sure there are other cases that would have to be explored.
Also, you may think it is relatively effortless to add a feature, since
only one programmer (and the computer program) need
be aware of it , but the reading of explanation in documentation is a
burden on every human who looks at the manual.
Anyway, these are considerations.
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