```Date: Mar 14, 2006 8:31 AM
Author: Dik T. Winter
Subject: Re: Reason for operator precedence

In article <1142342196.542632.294210@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> matt271829-news@yahoo.co.uk writes: > Tony wrote:... > > I was wondering what the reason is for having multiple levels of operator > > precedence?... > As far as addition/subtraction vs multiplication/division is concerned, > one reason is to ensure that the distributive property of > multiplication works sensibly. For example, we want 3*(4 + 6) = 3*4 + > 3*6 = 3*(6 + 4) = 3*6 + 3*4. >  > And for exponentiation we want, for example, 3*3^2 = 3^3, not (3*3)^2That is not the reason.  You could just as well have left to rightoperation when you use sufficiently many parenthesis in the euqations.E.g. 3*(4 + 6) = (3*4) + (3*6).But try to write the polynomial x^7 + 2x^6 - 3x^5 + 2x^4 +7x^3 - 3x^2 - 5x + 8without assuming precedence.  It is to avoid large numbers of parenthesis.-- dik t. winter, cwi, kruislaan 413, 1098 sj  amsterdam, nederland, +31205924131home: bovenover 215, 1025 jn  amsterdam, nederland; http://www.cwi.nl/~dik/
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