[TUHS] History of m6?

Barry Stanly bstanly42 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 18 08:46:32 AEST 2019

Just a note:
(I am new to this list and find the history revealed fascinating, so 
thank you all for insights.)
There is an interesting paper on symbolic formula manipulation:

There is also a symbolic Python library: https://www.sympy.org/en/index.html

On 11/17/2019 10:12 AM, Bakul Shah wrote:
> On Sat, 16 Nov 2019 21:50:58 -0800 Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> Larry McVoy writes:
>> On Sun, Nov 17, 2019 at 04:30:15PM +1100, Dave Horsfall wrote:
>>> On Sat, 16 Nov 2019, SPC wrote:
>>>> My first FORTRAN textbook was titled "FORTRAN with WATFOR and WATFIV". It
>>>> had a long print run as well.
>>> Now *that* brings back memories (not necessarily pleasant).  WATFOR was as
>>> ugly as sin
>> I'm pretty sure that was the Fortran I learned.  Yeah, it was not C.  But
>> it was math.  I spent a bunch of time learning accumulated errors and
>> more time on floating point numbers.  My dad was a theoretical physics
>> guy so I did some coding for him.  I respected Fortran for what it could
>> do but I developed a hate for floating point.  In my mind, floating
>> point numbers meant you couldn't handle the world you were working in.
>> It just felt like you could shift the domain you were working in so
>> integers could work.  If you couldn't do that, you were admitting that
>> you were not accurate.
> Many numbers can't be represented perfectly using integers or
> rationals (a pair of integers) but can be computed using a
> series expansion to arbitrary precision.  I thought FP numbers
> were a clever & practical compromise that worked quite well.
> David Goldberg's "What every computer scientist should know
> about floating-point" is worth reading.
>    https://www.itu.dk/~sestoft/bachelor/IEEE754_article.pdf
> Earlier I remember reading the "Numerical Recipes" books by
> Press, Teukolsky, Vetterling & Flannery. IIRC, the original
> version used Fortran.  They also had versions using Pascal and
> C (I finally bought the C version in '80s though never used it).
> Note that Scheme & CL have a full complement of numeric types:
> big nums, rationals, reals and complex numbers.  At least some
> versions of CL have arbitrary precision FP numbers.
> What I really want is a programming language with support for
> symbolic manipulation of formulas!

More information about the TUHS mailing list