bigint
Section: Perl Programmers Reference Guide (3pm)
Updated: 20010921
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NAME
bigint  Transparent BigInteger support for Perl
SYNOPSIS
use bigint;
$x = 2 + 4.5,"\n"; # BigInt 6
print 2 ** 512,"\n"; # really is what you think it is
print inf + 42,"\n"; # inf
print NaN * 7,"\n"; # NaN
DESCRIPTION
All operators (including basic math operations) are overloaded. Integer
constants are created as proper BigInts.
Floating point constants are truncated to integer. All results are also
truncated.
Options
bigint recognizes some options that can be passed while loading it via use.
The options can (currently) be either a single letter form, or the long form.
The following options exist:
 a or accuracy

This sets the accuracy for all math operations. The argument must be greater
than or equal to zero. See Math::BigInt's bround() function for details.
perl Mbigint=a,2 le 'print 12345+1'
 p or precision

This sets the precision for all math operations. The argument can be any
integer. Negative values mean a fixed number of digits after the dot, and
are <B>ignored</B> since all operations happen in integer space.
A positive value rounds to this digit left from the dot. 0 or 1 mean round to
integer and are ignore like negative values.
See Math::BigInt's bfround() function for details.
perl Mbignum=p,5 le 'print 123456789+123'
 t or trace

This enables a trace mode and is primarily for debugging bigint or
Math::BigInt.
 l or lib

Load a different math lib, see ``MATH LIBRARY''.
perl Mbigint=l,GMP e 'print 2 ** 512'
Currently there is no way to specify more than one library on the command
line. This will be hopefully fixed soon ;)
 v or version

This prints out the name and version of all modules used and then exits.
perl Mbigint=v
Math Library
Math with the numbers is done (by default) by a module called
Math::BigInt::Calc. This is equivalent to saying:
use bigint lib => 'Calc';
You can change this by using:
use bigint lib => 'BitVect';
The following would first try to find Math::BigInt::Foo, then
Math::BigInt::Bar, and when this also fails, revert to Math::BigInt::Calc:
use bigint lib => 'Foo,Math::BigInt::Bar';
Please see respective module documentation for further details.
Internal Format
The numbers are stored as objects, and their internals might change at anytime,
especially between math operations. The objects also might belong to different
classes, like Math::BigInt, or Math::BigInt::Lite. Mixing them together, even
with normal scalars is not extraordinary, but normal and expected.
You should not depend on the internal format, all accesses must go through
accessor methods. E.g. looking at $x>{sign} is not a good idea since there
is no guaranty that the object in question has such a hash key, nor is a hash
underneath at all.
Sign
The sign is either '+', '', 'NaN', '+inf' or 'inf'.
You can access it with the sign() method.
A sign of 'NaN' is used to represent the result when input arguments are not
numbers or as a result of 0/0. '+inf' and 'inf' represent plus respectively
minus infinity. You will get '+inf' when dividing a positive number by 0, and
'inf' when dividing any negative number by 0.
Methods
Since all numbers are now objects, you can use all functions that are part of
the BigInt API. You can only use the bxxx() notation, and not the fxxx()
notation, though.
Caveat
But a warning is in order. When using the following to make a copy of a number,
only a shallow copy will be made.
$x = 9; $y = $x;
$x = $y = 7;
Using the copy or the original with overloaded math is okay, e.g. the
following work:
$x = 9; $y = $x;
print $x + 1, " ", $y,"\n"; # prints 10 9
but calling any method that modifies the number directly will result in
both the original and the copy beeing destroyed:
$x = 9; $y = $x;
print $x>badd(1), " ", $y,"\n"; # prints 10 10
$x = 9; $y = $x;
print $x>binc(1), " ", $y,"\n"; # prints 10 10
$x = 9; $y = $x;
print $x>bmul(2), " ", $y,"\n"; # prints 18 18
Using methods that do not modify, but testthe contents works:
$x = 9; $y = $x;
$z = 9 if $x>is_zero(); # works fine
See the documentation about the copy constructor and "=" in overload, as
well as the documentation in BigInt for further details.
MODULES USED
"bigint" is just a thin wrapper around various modules of the Math::BigInt
family. Think of it as the head of the family, who runs the shop, and orders
the others to do the work.
The following modules are currently used by bigint:
Math::BigInt::Lite (for speed, and only if it is loadable)
Math::BigInt
EXAMPLES
Some cool command line examples to impress the Python crowd ;) You might want
to compare them to the results under Mbignum or Mbigrat:
perl Mbigint le 'print sqrt(33)'
perl Mbigint le 'print 2*255'
perl Mbigint le 'print 4.5+2*255'
perl Mbigint le 'print 3/7 + 5/7 + 8/3'
perl Mbigint le 'print 123>is_odd()'
perl Mbigint le 'print log(2)'
perl Mbigint le 'print 2 ** 0.5'
perl Mbigint=a,65 le 'print 2 ** 0.2'
LICENSE
This program is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify it under
the same terms as Perl itself.
SEE ALSO
Especially bigrat as in "perl Mbigrat le 'print 1/3+1/4'" and
bignum as in "perl Mbignum le 'print sqrt(2)'".
Math::BigInt, Math::BigRat and Math::Big as well
as Math::BigInt::BitVect, Math::BigInt::Pari and Math::BigInt::GMP.
AUTHORS
(C) by Tels <http://bloodgate.com/> in early 2002  2005.
Index
 NAME

 SYNOPSIS

 DESCRIPTION

 Options

 Math Library

 Internal Format

 Sign

 Methods

 Caveat

 MODULES USED

 EXAMPLES

 LICENSE

 SEE ALSO

 AUTHORS

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