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*To*: mackay@cs.washington.edu (Pierre MacKay)*Subject*: RE: rounding problems*From*: Rebecca and Rowland <rebecca@astrid.u-net.com>*Date*: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 12:17:59 +0100*Cc*: fontinst@cogs.susx.ac.uk*In-Reply-To*: <199810030438.VAA13283@june.cs.washington.edu>

> > What amazes me about TeX is that someone like Knuth could write something > > that's as bad at arithmetic as TeX is. > >Wow. Have you tried to think back to all the forms of floating-point >representation that were there in the late 70's. I was thinking more of the user interface to the arithmetic functions that TeX offers. I've recently had to jump through hoops in order to calculate what dimen1/dimen2 is, for example. I trust the underlying mechanism for actually performing the calculations: I wasn't trying to imply that I thought there was anything wrong with that. [snip] >You sometimes have to cascade calculations to avoid overflow, but at >the speed of present-day processors, so what? Not all of us have access to present-day processors, you know. > I do calculations to three >and four decimal places in TeX, and it sometimes means taking four steps >for something that a floating point processor would do in one. But I know >that the four decimal places will be the same on every processor if I >accept that slight extra effort. If only the extra effort were always slight. Rowland.

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