Re: [Heinously Off-Topic] 2.0.30 - And undefined

Mirrashar Lenashri (
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 07:13:33 -0500 (EST)

>> > >2 / 1 / 0 == 2 / 0 / 30
>> > ^^^^^ ^^^
>> > Actually, anything divided by zero is undefined; you can't divide anything
>> > zero ways. So, in essence, 2/1/0 does not equal 2/0/30, as undefined is..
>> > err, wait, I guess they are equal. Never mind.
>> My my dear moriarty, are they the same undefined, or different levels of
>> undefined?
>People seem to have the wrong idea here. 1/0 does not equal some special
>value called "undefined"; It _is_ undefined. ie it has no value; it is
>the same sort of undefined (oops! an allusion; shouldn't use these) as
>trying to take the first element from an empty list. There is no sensible
>values so, for theoretical purposes, at least it has no value. In
>practical terms, how things like this are handled are open to
>implementors' choices. Intel have a divide by zero exception for
>integers; IEEE FP as used by Intel give x/0 the special value NaN.
Heheh.. New mental note for myself: Never attempt to make a math statement
when one's brain is fried.

So, as far as IEEE are concerned, are 2/1/0 and 2/0/30 both NaN? Or are
they still different?

(And, for that matter, are two different quantities that are undefined
equal? I see that they both have no value..)

>PS. I find discussions like this quite fun, but perhaps I should
> set up a list on our server for such off-topic stuff?
> ( :-)
The discussion can always continue this way, without being sent to the
developers' list.. :)


-=- Brian Smith (
*** Microsoft: "Where do you want to go today?"
Linux: "Where do you want to go _now_?"