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- To: KMP at MIT-MC
- Subject: Base-10
- From: ALAN at MIT-MC (Alan Bawden)
- Date: Tue, 27 Nov 79 21:24:00 GMT
- Cc: (BUG LISP) at MIT-MC
- Original-date: 27 NOV 1979 1624-EST
From: KMP@MIT-MC (Sent by ___113@MIT-MC)
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 79 14:39:33 GMT
Original-Date: 11/27/79 10:39:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Base-10
Your note made it hard to tell if you were upset by Base-10 or what you
were afraid was my scoffing at it ... do you favor the change and if no,
why not? -kmp
I do not favor the change because:
1) It breaks more files than carrage returns in atoms ever will.
2) I like being able to type both octal and decimal with ease (no I don't
think #O is acceptable).
3) I find that I am more often concerned with the bit pattern of a number
than with the pure magnitude.
4) Octal is a more rational base than decimal anyway.
5) I have never seen any new users screwed by octal, or even seriously confused.
(more often they can't understand the difference between CONS and APPEND or similar).
There is nothing really obscure about octal, we are all introduced to alternate
bases fairly early in our education these days (or should be). A fast poll
of those in the room with me indicates that most people were so educated in
grade school if not sooner.
6) This seems to be a fairly late date to change something so fundamental
to the basic user. I'm sorry, none of the recent changes really change the
default environment (I'm against turning # and " on by default.)