[Haskell-cafe] bitSize

Daniel Peebles pumpkingod at gmail.com
Fri Aug 26 03:40:28 CEST 2011

And as Daniel mentioned earlier, it's not at all obvious what we mean by
"bits used" when it comes to negative numbers. GMP pretends that any
negative number has infinite bits in the two's-complement representation.
Should we count the highest _unset_ bit when the number is negative?

Or to put it another way, what invariants should the proposed bit-counting
function satisfy?

On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM, Albert Y. C. Lai <trebla at vex.net> wrote:

> On 11-08-25 01:57 PM, Andrew Coppin wrote:
>> Does anybody else think it would be *far* more useful if bitSize applied
>> to an Integer would tell you how many bits that particular Integer is
>> using? Especially given that it can vary?
> It is useful to know the number of bits used in a value.
> It is useful to know the maximum number of bits storable in a type.
> It is useless to conflate the two into one single method.
> The name "bitSize" is already taken. Come up with another name, and I will
> agree with you.
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