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Re: bc and dc. (Was: neatroff for Russian.)

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: bc and dc. (Was: neatroff for Russian.)
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2023 10:34:26 +0100

Hi Alejandro,

None of the below may apply to GNU's bc and dc.  I prefer Unix.

> bc(1) on the contrary, is likely to be using 'long double', for being
> able to provide so many digits.

No, bc doesn't use a C language or machine type.  The precision can
be set.

    $ bc -l
    l(1114112) / l(2)

bc's l() function is written in bc rather than a built-in and can be
read for fun.  bc uses dc(1) to do the work and can be asked to ‘compile
only’ with -c.  dc has k to set the precision; bc's scale simply uses k.

dc uses a byte to store each pair of decimal digits.  This allows
overflow within the byte during calculations and makes it quick to
perform the common case of formatting the many-byte number to
decimal-digit text.

Cheers, Ralph.

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