Date: Tue Nov 11 2003 - 08:07:30 EST
> > Why restricting to this range then [0 to 15]? The range of digits is
> > mathematically
> > infinite if you consider any possible radix...
> That's correct, of course. The reason is that, in my experience (as I
> can't speak for everyone else), radix sixteen is very frequently used,
> and higher radices are not. In my life, if I had to answer the question
> "which do you have to deal with most in your life - (a) decimal, or (b)
> hexadecimal", I honestly wouldn't know which was the truthful answer.
> It'd be touch and go either way. I appreciate that that's not the case
> for most people, of course, but I don't think it could be argued that
> there is any similar widespread use for, say radix-64.
I similarly use hexadecimal frequently, and in terms of text I'm not sure
whether I use it more or less often than decimal either. I still don't find
myself needing seperate characters for the digits A to F.
> > In reality, you are defending the adoption of supplementary digits for
> > natural sort.
> Yes, that's correct. Except that I don't limit it just to natural sort,
> which is but one algorithm among many. What I am arguing for is no
> discrimination between the digit nine and the digit ten in any algorithm
> for which it makes sense for the digit ten to exist.
No sort algorithms discriminate in any way, the algorithm that it uses which
gives a value to a given character (or whatever is being sorted) does, and
should since discrimination (in the less pejorative sense) is the whole point
There is nothing to stop such an algorithm from returning true for less
('9', 'A') and equiv('A', 'a').
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