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Re: GMP module support

From: Faraz Shahbazker
Subject: Re: GMP module support
Date: 28 Feb 2004 18:21:10 -0000

> From: Marius Vollmer

> Having support for unlimited precision numbers would be a nice
> addition to Guile, indeed.  I don't fully understand what you mean
> with uilding a second numeric tower.  That shouldn`t be necessary;
> just integrate big-floats into the tower that we already have.


        Well, from your discussion with Rob(and others)
from 2002, it appeared that there were some problems
regarding integrating GMP types into guile. So when you
say integrating big-floats, do you mean implementing a
separate multi-precision format spec for guile, or do
you mean using mpf_t in guile?

        If it's the first, I am afraid that I do not
have the expertise or experience to talk about it.
If the second, then perhaps you should reiterate in
clear terms the official policy regarding mixing guile
and other GPL'ed stuff (and add it to the docs or
something, so that new-comers like myself don't
go about asking the same question again and again)

  Overall, I think that beside the benifit that
GMP holds for guile-users, guile also holds a certain
amount of benifit for GMP-users. The reason being
that the main strength of GMP lies in it's
time-complexity factor and not it's space-complexity.
While it is still very efficient memory-wise, that
is not what it is used for. On the other hand, the
memory allocation/deallocation/initialization required
is a good reason for not using GMP. Since guile takes
the heartache of memory allocation off your hands, you
are more likely to use it wrapped up nicely in a
Scheme interface.

        The big question then really is whether our
garbage-collector can live-up to our expectations
in the extreme high-performance environments, where
GMP is normally employed?

- Faraz Shahbazker

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