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*To*: common-lisp@sail.stanford.edu*Subject*: Bognumosity*From*: shebs%orion@cs.utah.edu (Stanley T. Shebs)*Date*: Thu, 16 Apr 87 11:11:56 MDT

It only hurts CL as a standard when people start talking about the "spirit" of the specification as a substitute for precision. Some symbolic algebra folks like really big numbers, starting at a "few thousand bits" and getting bigger. Bignums can also be a good representation technique for certain kinds of data structures (almost like bit vectors, but with different ops available). Any vagueness on max size of bignums is no more acceptable than it is for arrays or fixnums or floats, all of which have plenty of constants defining *their* limits! I think we should introduce an INTEGER-LENGTH-LIMIT constant which would be the largest value that INTEGER-LENGTH could return. It should be specifed to be at least as large as MOST-POSITIVE-FIXNUM, with the usual exhortation that "Implementors are encouraged to make this limit as large as practicable without sacrificing performance." :-) stan

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