# Re: Assigning a plane for mapping digits for many different bases

From: Ken Whistler (kenw@sybase.com)
Date: Tue Mar 08 2011 - 14:54:40 CST

• Next message: Doug Ewell: "RE: Assigning a plane for mapping digits for many different bases"

On 3/8/2011 12:12 PM, Tiago Estill de Noronha wrote:
>
> If you're gonna represent numbers purelly as digits, what characters
> would you use for writing numbers in for example base 64?
>

I would generalize the representation of digits to use a base which
*can* represent
them using existing characters.

> And what if for some new use it becomes practical to write numbers
> digit by digit in base 360?
>
Same thing.

For example, suppose I needed, for some reason, the write the number
1927631 (base 10) expressed
in base 360. The base 360 digits for that are 14, 314, and 191. I could
then easily
express the number as {{14},{314},{191}}_360

This uses the convention of expressing the digits and the base in
decimal, while expressing
the *number* itself in base 360, with no need to make up or apply to
standards committees
for the encoding of an additional 350 digit symbols past "9".

As I said, you seem to be missing the elegance and generality of
mathematical conventions.

> The goal is to standardize encoding number digits, independent of
> script and font styles, without restricting it to just a few choosen
> bases, and without needing to use codepoints that are also used for
> characters for words and other symbols.
>
Again, why would this be needed? What function would it serve, other
than to create
a mass of arbitrary symbols that nobody could remember, which would be
extremely
awkward to use, and which would end up with no users as a result?

Speculative encoding of "good ideas", particularly when they turn out
not to be so good,
and when there are alternative ways of doing the same things that don't
require

> That page you linked mentions fractional, irracional etc bases though;
> my suggestion doesn't touch those concepts, i'm not even sure how
> fractional bases work (that page doesn't really get in much details
> regarding the actual digits used in those cases,).
>