This issue tracker has been migrated to GitHub, and is currently read-only.
For more information, see the GitHub FAQs in the Python's Developer Guide.

Author mark.dickinson
Recipients casevh, jyasskin, mark.dickinson
Date 2009-07-16.22:10:02
SpamBayes Score 5.551115e-16
Marked as misclassified No
Message-id <>
> In particular, the idea was that all Reals would (by default) be
> comparable to each other, even if they didn't know about each other.

Understood, but I don't think this is an attainable goal.  I don't see 
any reasonable way to make it happen without doing significant guessing, 
or expanding the numbers ABC in some way.

At the moment, __eq__(a, b) falls back to 'float(a) == b' when b is not 
a float or an instance of Rational.  This seems problematic to me for a 
couple of reasons:

1. The conversion to float loses information.  As a result, we lose (a) 
transitivity of equality, (b) well-behaved hashing (x == y no longer 
implies hash(x) == hash(y)), and (c) consistency between == and the 
other comparison operators.

2. This fallback shuts out the other class even in cases where the other 
class *does* know how to handle the comparison.  So there's no way for 
another class to 'play nice' with the Fraction type and implement exact 
comparisons even if it wants to.

Here's an example of 1, on Python 2.6.  (bigfloat is a home-built 
wrapper for the MPFR library.)

newton:~ dickinsm$ python2.6
Python 2.6.2 (r262:71600, Jun 17 2009, 09:08:27) 
[GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5490)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> from bigfloat import BigFloat
>>> from fractions import Fraction
>>> x = Fraction(2**60-1)
>>> y = Fraction(2**60+1)
>>> z = BigFloat(2**60)
>>> x == z
>>> y == z
>>> x == y
>>> hash(x) == hash(z)

I just don't see any reasonable way to make comparisons 'automatically' 
work:  one of the classes has to know how to handle both types, or else 
there's just going to be a lot of guesswork involved.  So it seems 
better to simply return NotImplemented in these cases.
Date User Action Args
2009-07-16 22:10:04mark.dickinsonsetrecipients: + mark.dickinson, casevh, jyasskin
2009-07-16 22:10:04mark.dickinsonsetmessageid: <>
2009-07-16 22:10:02mark.dickinsonlinkissue6431 messages
2009-07-16 22:10:02mark.dickinsoncreate