This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 70 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 70 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.
On Sat, 18 Jun 2005, William D Clinger wrote:
2. The proposed 1/0 and -1/0 syntax for infinities has two related problems: it looks like these things are exact, and allowing this syntax will require a more complicated rule for deciding whether a numeric literal is exact or inexact.3. The +inf.0 and -inf.0 syntax is already used by several implementations, which agreed to standardize upon it several years ago, before the SRFI process began. Th +inf.0 and -inf.0 syntaxes (and +nan.0) also appear within The Revised R6RS Status Report of October 2004, which is online at www.schemers.org.I agree with this, by the way: I'd much rather see +inf.0 and -inf.0 than 1/0 and -1/0. To me the connotations are different: +inf.0 means "numeric overflow:" 1/0 means "illegal operation." Or, mathematically, +inf.0 seems to mean "we can't tell how big this is, and it may be infinite" and 1/0 means "this is, exactly and absolutely, a first-order infinity." I find +inf.0 and -inf.0 seem to me to express the ideas that are more in line with the way they are used in computer programs. Besides, they are already used by more implementations than 1/0 and -1/0.
I too agree. Due to my day job, as soon as I see 1/0 I begin to look for the red pencil. -- Jens Axel Søgaard