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From: Beman Dawes (beman_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-09-21 10:26:33

At 01:53 PM 9/21/2000 +0000, William Kempf wrote:

>He was responding to my post, and I've seen his bigint before, so I
>feel entitled to respond here.
>Yes, it has advantages, as well as disadvantages. The two are
>distinct types, and I was proposing that we need both types. A
>bitint is a fixed size integer, where you specify the bit-size.
>While not as fast as built in integer types it is still relatively
>fast and allows you to have very large integers as well as
>specifically sized integers (such as an int64_t for compilers that
>don't have built in 64 bit integers).
>Mean while, a bigint is a variably sized integer. As you make
>calculations on the bigint it's size (bit-size) will increase to
>accomodate the results. So the size starts out minimal to save
>space, but if use dictates that it needs to be larger it will scale
>up as much as memory will permit. Calculations are much slower on
>such a type in comparison to built in types or bitint, but the
>flexibility in scaling can be quite important for some cases.
>So, they have different advantages/disadvantages and are used to
>solve different problems.

Presumably the interfaces should be either the same or very similar?


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