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[Caml-list] pretty printers and format and matrices
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Date: 2001-06-15 (17:32)
From: Pierre Weis <Pierre.Weis@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] pretty printers and format and matrices
> Pierre Weis writes:
>    Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 21:37:44 +0200 (MET DST)
>    Subject: Re: [Caml-list] pretty printers and format and matrices
>    However, I should admit that you will still be facing another
>    stupid limit (no more than 2^30 words in a big integer, which means
>    approximately 9 * 2 ^ 30 decimal digits on a little machine, once more
>    far far away from infinity). 
> OK, I see you are in sarcastic mood ... I am actually negotiating
> with John Skaller the foundation of the "Got bitten by Pierre
> Club", anybody else who wants to participate?
> ;-)

Sorry for that I was just a bit tired by a more than 5 hours long
meeting. I was also taking it for granting that everybody would
understand that I was joking: could you imagine opening so much boxes
that it could overflow a limit which is as large as a number that has
``9 * 2 ^ 30 decimal digits'' ? Could you imagine anything real (such
that a computation or something that you can count) that can overflow
such a huge number (much much bigger than even a google) ?

Also, I don't know if we have to permanently be calm and solemn when
posting to this mailing list. Well, I guess it's the best way given
the medium ...

>    Sorry for this unsatisfactory answer, due to stupid limitations in the
>    language.
> Then I would like to suggest to add a new feature to a future
> version of the format module: "do_never_print_ellipsis". Perhaps 
> (set_max_boxes -1) could be interpreded this way.

This way of interpreting negative numbers seems a bit strange to
me. Also this would add a lot of particular cases, just for people who
need more than 1073741823 simultaneously open boxes (just have a look
to this number, it is really huge indeed).

> Problems like "The most interesting problem repaired by the
> Judges was that one entry nested Objective Caml's Format boxes
> too deeply ....", quoted from [1], would then belong to the past.

OK, you win. Then I would prefer to set pp_max_boxes to max_int at
creation time of the ``formatter''. This is simpler and more

> BTW:
>    set_max_boxes max_int;;
>    On a regular machine this allows to simultaneously open no more than
>    4611686018427387903 boxes, which could be large enough to pretty print
> I have 
> # max_int;;
> - : int = 1073741823
> so what's a regular machine??

Sorry for that also, you need some context to understand that one: a
``regular'' machine is a kind of nickname we used here to name our 64
bits alpha machines, I suppose that this is a way to insist on the
fact that there exist other processors than Intel's ...

> Thanks anyway for the unsatisfactory answer,

You're very welcome.

> Hendrik
> [1] The 1999 ICFP Programming Contest. ACM SIGPLAN Notices,
> 35(3), pp. 73-83, March 2000. Available at


Pierre Weis

INRIA, Projet Cristal,,

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