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From: "Kevin G. Rhoads"
Subject: Re: To C or not to C
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1161
Date: Sat, 04 Jan 2003 13:01:24 -0800
NNTP-Posting-Host: 1cust20.tnt2.andover.ma.da.uu.net 188.8.131.52
>One final note: you would be surprised how much you can do without
>point math. Eliminating this from your C library will save lots of room in
>projects where code size is critical. Smaller and faster scalable
>long-integer functions (included in the Dunfield suite) will often take
>of most higher precision math when needed.
Alan Turing is said to have been strongly opposed to the
use of floating point math, and felt that scaled fixed point
was more than adequate for all needs. After all, if you
did not understand how your numbers would be scaling
through the intermediate calculations, you would likely
be throwing precision away, often to the point of getting
meaningless results. It is amazing to me how insightful
this seems when I look at all the posts in comp.lang.fortran
or sci.math.num-analysis &c where people get meaningless
results due to ill-advised algorithms and then want quad-precision
floating point just to save a digit or two of meaningful result.
Floating point is MUCH more convenient AT FIRST,
but learning to deal wiht scaled fixed point is invaluable
for things which need to pust the limits, like embedded
projects often end up doing. YMMV.
Kevin G. Rhoads, Ph.D. (Linearity is a convenient fiction.)
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