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*To*: Jon L White <edsel!jonl@labrea.stanford.edu>*Subject*: EQUAL, and hash tables, and value/object distinctions*From*: David A. Moon <Moon@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>*Date*: Tue, 19 Jul 88 11:22 EDT*Bcc*: CL-Cleanup@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU*Cc*: Greenwald@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM, jrose@sun.com, goldman@vaxa.isi.edu, common-lisp@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU*In-reply-to*: <8807190705.AA05728@bhopal.lucid.com>

Date: Tue, 19 Jul 88 00:05:31 PDT From: Jon L White <edsel!jonl@labrea.stanford.edu> ....numerical equality and inequalities are not information losing, and should in fact be transitive relations. About one year ago, I pointed out this difficulty to Guy Steele with some well- chosen examples; and he was quite shocked -- indeed it was his intention that "=" be a true equivalence predicate. I agree that = should be transitive even when floating-point numbers are involved. I.e. (= (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon) (1+ (floor (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon)))) should be NIL, since (= (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon) (floor (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon))) is certainly T and (= (floor (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon)) (1+ (floor (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon)))) is certainly NIL. To understand this example better, it helps to realize that (= (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon) (+ (/ 10.0 single-float-epsilon) 1.0)) is true in all implementations. Since CLtL p.194 expressly forbids this, requiring the first form above to return T, shouldn't somebody submit an X3J13 Cleanup subcommittee proposal before it's too late? Lucid's 3.0 release performs "appropriate contagion" in the case of numerical comparisons, in order to preserve transitivity. I'm a little surprised that Lucid would change their implementation incompatibly with both CLtL and previous Lucid implementations without first getting some concensus that the current definition of Common Lisp is wrong and in fact will change. I know Symbolics specifically decided not to "fix this bug" unilaterally when we noticed it some time ago, considering that compatibility was more important. Chacun a son gout.

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