newRPL: symbolic numbers

12232014, 09:49 PM
Post: #10




RE: newRPL: symbolic numbers
(12232014 09:01 PM)Claudio L. Wrote:(12232014 05:57 PM)Nigel (UK) Wrote: It is quicker to type 2*(3+4) than '2'*('3'+'4'). The trailing dot is a reasonable idea. However, is it necessary? I'm not sure why anyone would want a number like 2.5 to be treated as an exact number. Perhaps this is because I'm a physics teacher  I insist that all calculated results are given to an appropriate number of significant figures, usually no more than three. Anyone who writes 5/2 ohms for the resistance of a resistor would lose a mark, because they are claiming to know the resistance to an infinite number of significant figures and that can never happen. So I would suggest: 2 or 2. is a number > approx. '2' is symbolic > exact '2.5' is symbolic > approx because of the dot '2.5.' is symbolic ... > exact! Exact numbers with decimals might be needed sometimes, but for me at least they would be a rare occurrence and so they should be the harder of the two to type. I'm not entirely happy with this either. I shall continue to think! Nigel (UK) 

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