>>> Calling this a divisive issue in mathematics is utterly >>> silly. It's not even an issue, much less divisive. >> >> Judging by the lengthy debates in various online forums, I would say this is a divisive issue. > > That's hilarious. Do you also feel that the uncountability of the > reals is a divisive issue in mathematics? Or the "question" of > whether 0.999... equals 1?
The latter was the example of a non-issue that came to my mind, as well.
>>> In any given context we use the definition that we >>> want to use in that context. No problem. >> >> What "context" is a computer programmer to use when writing software for, say, medical equipment?
How about the context of making the medical equipment work properly?
>> There is a good case to be made that 0^0 is ambiguous even in the natural numbers. Therefore, it seems to me that the safest, most conservative assumption when programming is that 0^0 should be flagged as an error condition. This should be a global standard built into every general purpose programming language. > > There are certainly situations where it's most convenient to interpret > 0^0 as one thing, and situations where it's most convenient to > iintepret it as something else. It's possible (not that I'm conceding > that) that this has some bearing on what programming languages > should do. > > How in the world do you get from there to the idea that this > is "a divisive issue in mathematics"?
Teach the controversy!!!
-- Michael F. Stemper This post contains greater than 95% post-consumer bytes by weight.