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java fraction class

varun bihani
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Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 96
what should be the data types of numerator and denominator of java fraction class? should it be int or double/float?
eg 4/5 or 3.4/4.5 ?


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Keith Lynn
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Joined: Feb 07, 2005
Posts: 2367
Are you talking about a Java class called Fraction?
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
I suppose it depends on what the purpose of your Fraction class is. Is your goal to create an exact representation of a fraction like 1/3? Or will you be satisfied with convenient alternatives like 0.3333333333? If it's the former, I would use only exact integer types for the numerator and denominator - int, long, or BigInteger. Floating-point arithmentic frequently has small roundoff errors; it's inherent in the format. If you're OK with approximations - then why do you need ths Fraction class at all? For computations you might just as well convert everything to doubles. However, you may have some other reason for this class, which I am unaware of. Care to provide more details on what you're trying to do?


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Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
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Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
It would be an interesting exercise to have a number class that could store numerator and denominator. Just so

new MyNumber(1).over( new MyNumber(3) ).times( new MyNumber(3) ).equals( new MyNumber(1) )

or maybe

new MyNumber(1, 3).times( 3 ).equals( 1 );

What would you do about that 3.4 and 4.5 in the original post?

new MyNumber( new MyNumber(34, 10), new MyNumber(45, 10) )

Ok, it doesn't look like that much fun after all. There are languages that maintain numbers like that. Anybody ever use one?


A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Ilja Preuss
author
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Stan James:
There are languages that maintain numbers like that. Anybody ever use one?


I'm currently playing with Squeak, a modern Smalltalk dialect. Smalltalk has a Fraction class and uses it fully transparently since ages.


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