Re: The D Programming Language
David Abrahams wrote:
Walter Bright <email@example.com> writes:
Numerical analysis is quite likely something that a mainstream
programmer would never encounter. It doesn't come up when you're writing
guis, databases, compilers, device drivers, web apps, games
Whoa, stop right there. Many of today's games contain sophisticated
physics simulations that require intense numerical analysis.
They don't have to get the right answer, though. And that's what makes
game numerics different, and not *serious* numerical analysis.
Game numerics is all about speed, not accuracy. That's why there are
vector float instructions now in the x86.
Serious numerical analysts have to pay attention to creeping roundoff
error, gradual underflow, etc. After all, like I said before, you don't
want your Mars lander retro rockets to be programmed to fire 10 feet
below the surface after traveling 100000000000 miles.
With a game, who cares? I was playing the "Simpsons" game the other day,
and you could easily get into situations where things were clipped
halfway through a wall, where Homer is driving his car but is drawn
offset from it, and even one where the elements of the scenes were
flipped in a crazy manner (looks like some sort of sign error in the calcs).
Like I said, who cares?
But when your airplane elevator servo mechanism goes unstable at 30,000
feet and tears itself to pieces because your numerical integration
program calculated the wrong value for the spring rate, you better
believe people care. And when languages are dumbed down to the lowest
common floating point denominator, they aren't going to be used by those
who must care about it.
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