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From Al Chou <>
Subject Re: [math] Complex dilemmas
Date Sat, 07 Jun 2003 18:27:03 GMT
--- Phil Steitz <> wrote:
> Al Chou wrote:
> > One question that comes to mind is:  "What problems does having complex
> > mathematics solve?"  Basically I am wondering whether we should consider
> how or
> > even if real-world users would employ these facilities before going through
> the
> > exercise of getting them right.
> This is a very good question and one that we should *always* ask.  I 
> have to confess that I have used "my" implementation only for 
> mathematical applications.  I know that there are direct engineering 
> applications, but I frankly do not know how common they are in the "real 
> world".
> It is also troubling that the VNI implementation started out as the 
> reference implementation for a JSR that never went anywhere and it is 
> clear from this:
> which dates back to dec 2000, that Sun has looked carefully at providing 
> direct support in the language, but concluded that it is not worth the 
> effort.
> Given that it will be a fair amount of work to get a numerically sound 
> C9x compliant implementation together (what I have now does not 
> implement the transcendental functions at all and does not comply fully 
> with C9x), I propose that we drop this from our goals for initial 
> release.  If people really want direct support for complex numbers, we 
> can bring them in to a subsequent release.

I think removing complex mathematics from the scope of the initial release is
the right thing to do.  Including it will delay the release, and unless we find
we have mathematical/scientific/engineering users out there who really need it,
I don't think most of our audience would even notice if we included it.


Albert Davidson Chou

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