By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
444,199 Members | 1,064 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 444,199 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

documentation error

P: n/a
>From 3.2 in the Reference Manual "The Standard Type Hierarchy":

"Integers
These represent elements from the mathematical set of whole
numbers."

The generally recognized definition of a 'whole number' is zero and the
positive integers. That is to say, -1 is not a whole number. The
documentation ought to replace "whole numbers" with "integers".

Sep 4 '05 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
7 Replies


P: n/a
bill wrote:
From 3.2 in the Reference Manual "The Standard Type Hierarchy":
"Integers
These represent elements from the mathematical set of whole
numbers."

The generally recognized definition of a 'whole number' is zero and the
positive integers.


This term is ambiguous as it seems to be used for both natural numbers
and signed numbers [1].

That is to say, -1 is not a whole number. The
documentation ought to replace "whole numbers" with "integers".


Then you get a circular definition, arguably not very useful.
Why not simply precise 'signed whole numbers'?
However, it can be noted that the first instance of such types provides
the range -2147483648, 2147483647 which cannot be mistaken for natural
numbers.
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_numbers
Sep 4 '05 #2

P: n/a
tiissa wrote:
bill wrote:
From 3.2 in the Reference Manual "The Standard Type Hierarchy":


"Integers
These represent elements from the mathematical set of whole
numbers."

The generally recognized definition of a 'whole number' is zero and the
positive integers.


This term is ambiguous as it seems to be used for both natural numbers
and signed numbers [1].


I cleared this up; now it reads "... set of whole numbers (positive and negative
ones)."

Reinhold
Sep 4 '05 #3

P: n/a
Reinhold Birkenfeld wrote:
tiissa wrote:
bill wrote:
From 3.2 in the Reference Manual "The Standard Type Hierarchy":

"Integers
These represent elements from the mathematical set of whole
numbers."

The generally recognized definition of a 'whole number' is zero and the
positive integers.
This term is ambiguous as it seems to be used for both natural numbers
and signed numbers [1].

I cleared this up; now it reads "... set of whole numbers (positive

and negative ones)."


Consider deleting the sentence in which the Python doc tries to
define mathematical integers.

Integers

[In Python] There are three types of integers:
--
--Bryan
Sep 4 '05 #4

P: n/a
On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 20:02:10 GMT, Bryan Olson <fa*********@nowhere.org> wrote:
Reinhold Birkenfeld wrote:
tiissa wrote:
bill wrote:

>From 3.2 in the Reference Manual "The Standard Type Hierarchy":

"Integers
These represent elements from the mathematical set of whole
numbers."

The generally recognized definition of a 'whole number' is zero and the
positive integers.

This term is ambiguous as it seems to be used for both natural numbers
and signed numbers [1].

I cleared this up; now it reads "... set of whole numbers (positive

and negative
ones)."


Consider deleting the sentence in which the Python doc tries to
define mathematical integers.

Integers

[In Python] There are three types of integers:

This is a nice site:

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/WholeNumber.html
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/topics/Integers.html

Regards,
Bengt Richter
Sep 4 '05 #5

P: n/a
Bengt Richter wrote:
Bryan Olson wrote:
Consider deleting the sentence in which the Python doc tries to
define mathematical integers.
This is a nice site:

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/WholeNumber.html
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/topics/Integers.html


So maybe:

Integers

Pyton offers three types of
<A
HREF="http://mathworld.wolfram.com/topics/Integers.html">integers</A>:
Or use the Wikipedia ref.

--
--Bryan
Sep 5 '05 #6

P: n/a
On Sunday 04 September 2005 01:30 pm, Reinhold Birkenfeld wrote:
tiissa wrote:
bill wrote:
From 3.2 in the Reference Manual "The Standard Type Hierarchy":

"Integers
These represent elements from the mathematical set of whole
numbers."

The generally recognized definition of a 'whole number' is zero and the
positive integers.


This term is ambiguous as it seems to be used for both natural numbers
and signed numbers [1].


You realize, of course, that "natural numbers" don't include zero. ;-)

This is a pretty serious nitpick, isn't it? "Integers" is a well defined
mathematical concept, as well as a pretty well defined (but not coincident)
computer science concept. It's probably worth mentioning that Python uses
the *mathematical* definition of "integer" here -- or more precisely that
Python "long integers" do, while regular "integers" are what are known as
"long integers" in C.

Okay. I guess that *is* pretty confusing.

I think the manual is not so far off since "whole number" makes English
sense, if not mathematical. Certainly, if I were explaining this to my
kids I would say "whole" and not "integer" (I at least know they know what
"whole" means).

--
Terry Hancock ( hancock at anansispaceworks.com )
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.anansispaceworks.com

Sep 7 '05 #7

P: n/a
On Wed, 7 Sep 2005 08:31:36 -0500, Terry Hancock
<ha*****@anansispaceworks.com> declaimed the following in
comp.lang.python:

You realize, of course, that "natural numbers" don't include zero. ;-)
Tell that to the Ada language standard <G>

"natural" is 0..whatever, "positive" is 1..whatever.
-- ================================================== ============ <
wl*****@ix.netcom.com | Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber KD6MOG <
wu******@dm.net | Bestiaria Support Staff <
================================================== ============ <
Home Page: <http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/> <
Overflow Page: <http://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/> <

Sep 7 '05 #8

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.