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Re: Circular structures [was Re: IEEE 754 floating-point arithmetic is not completely ordered]

This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 67 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 67 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.

Bradley Lucier wrote:

On Apr 16, 2005, at 10:53 AM, Jens Axel Søgaard wrote:

Bradley Lucier wrote:

Well, it depends on what your goal is. ...

Here are some potential goals:
3) default-compare should define a total order on almost all Scheme values

What is "almost all"?

"Almost all" should be interpreted in the view of the design rationale
in the section "How to define default-compare?". We are excluding
objects such as closures and continuations, where the only
portable comparison operator available is eq?. If an implementation
offers additional possibilities (say based on hash codes and pointer
magic) then they could provide refined compare function.

We encourage implementors to refine default-compare on implementation
specific values such as such as values representing regular expressions.

How do a and b compare in the following?

[descartes:~/programs/folding/2] lucier% gsc
loading /usr/local/Gambit-C/gambcext.scm
Gambit Version 4.0 beta 12

 > (define a (cons #f #f))
 > (set-car! a a)
 > (set-cdr! a a)
 > (define b (cons #f #f))
 > (set-car! b b)
 > (set-cdr! b b)
 > (equal? a b)   ;;; doesn't terminate

Is default-compare compatible with equal?

We have on purpose left the result of default-compare unspecified
when one of the arguments is circular. Testing circularity is
expensive to do in a portable way.

Jens Axel Søgaard