Re: Are unsigned integers necessary?

"Alf P. Steinbach" <>
Fri, 16 Apr 2010 11:35:57 +0200
* DaveB:

"Alf P. Steinbach" <> wrote in message

* DaveB:

There has been a thread or more than one on which is better to use as
a default: signed or unsigned,

Which is better to use as default: contact lenses or military boots?

One relevant question is "for what".

but I didn't retain the resultant theory of those thread. No need to
restart those convos though, I'll search for the info in the archives
when I have time.

Any good introductory book will also discuss this.

Not in any in-depth-enough way. For instance:

Compare/contrast C++ integer and character types with those of Java.
Address implementation issues and usage issues and consequences of the
set of types chosen. That is what I wanted to know and probably more.
Heck, why stop at Java? Throw in Ada also while we're at it.

Hm. I'm not going to write that piece. For one, my familiarity with Ada is
purely theoretical, from books. However, you don't need someone else to do all
these language comparisions for you. What you need is only the fundamentals, the
basic understanding, from which you can easily evaluate the selection of types
in any language you care about, including Cobol if you want.

So not as easy a task as you thought.

I'm very happy that the influx of new blood to the group continues unabated, but
educating you folks about the Glorious Advantages & Benefits of reasoned
discussion is frustrating (I think it has to do with modern education which
leaves that out, to get good marks one has to be an unquestioning memorization
robot, and even in the area of pure memorization one has to be careful to not
correct former US vice president Dan Quayle when he corrects you about spelling
"potato"). In the welcome message and FAQ it's just assumed that people /know/
about reasoning. But as a soundbite style shortish summary, just (1) abstain
from turning every issue personal, and (2) do not assume that telepathy works
even though Alan Turing did: you're in good company, but it's rubbish.

Anyway, that said, for a quick summary & explanation of C++ signed/unsigned
issues, with some concrete program examples, see my ~last post in the
aforementioned "How to elegantly get the enum code from its string type" thread;
in a threaded view it's nearly the last article article in that thread.

Cheers & hth.,

- Alf

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