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Re: Should we be touching goops?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Should we be touching goops?
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2022 14:31:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Luca Fascione <> writes:

> On Sat, Jun 4, 2022 at 12:47 PM David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> LilyPond uses precise arithmetic.
> Thanks David, just out of curiosity, where's a reference to the specific
> implementation we're using?
> Further, besides the floating point math segment, does the rest feel like
> it's on target to you?

It's computer gibberish.  We don't require a degree in group theory to
be allowed to use LilyPond.  That's the reason LilyPond uses exact
arithmetic and did so even before Guile supported it.

If we provide functionality under the names of + and - (or call
something add and subtract), it is a disservice if the semantics are not
that of + and - .  LilyPond is a music typesetter, not a graduate math
teaching tool.

And Guile automatically converts (+ a b c ...) into (+ (+ ... a b) c)
...) and similarly for * - / .  Regardless of how they are defined.
I don't want to explain why (+ a b c) might work while (+ a c b) doesn't.

When the answer to "why doesn't this work?" is exclusively "because we
do not want you to do that out of philosophical reasons beyond your
comprehension" we are putting up artificial hurdles to using LilyPond.
There are enough natural hurdles as it is.

David Kastrup

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