Subject: Re: [boost] Numeric constants
From: Brandon Kohn (blkohn_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-01-31 09:56:04
> Is that what you were looking for?
Indeed it does do the trick nicely. In what I wrote I diverged slightly from
the clean path by using a rational promotion trait type. I think the main
difference is that it really doesn't make sense to define PI for a plain
integral type (3...) so I added type promotion to a rational into the mix.
This allows me to simply ask for a value of pi given whatever type I'm
currently working with and let the generative machinery crank out the
details such as a promotion to rational if required. Then using something
like auto or typeof I can abstract number types from these details and carry
on with the work in the problem space without having to worry about whether
the type returned can actually be properly represented/approximated. I guess
the argument then becomes whether it's more correct to simply return the
whole number approximation of a constant under the specialized type or to
attempt to adapt it into a more useful type. Maybe both via a modified
Perhaps this is something worth a bit of discussion, as there is the
Boost.Rational library (which is nice.. but underutilized I suspect due to a
lack of a Boost arbitrary integer.) Kevin Sopp has been working on such an
integral type which seems to be coming along nicely. I also have a
lazy_exact type which I've been using with Boost.Rational, Kevin's integer
and some extension code to the rational I have written which allows for
construction from floating point types and some other useful conversions.
These ingredients are one way to manage writing geometry algorithms which
are fraught with precision issues when performed under floating point. They
ultimately form a suboptimal solution as lazy floating point filtered types
are still very slow.. but sometimes there is little alternative. So even
though it's not the fastest way to go (GMP beats this paradigm every time) I
think it might be useful if Boost.Math (or something similar) supported
these modes of use when accessing values for constants.
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