[swift-evolution] Which functionality should be covered by a native Swift math/numerics library that ships with the standard lib?

Chris Lattner clattner at apple.com
Wed Aug 3 22:53:23 CDT 2016

> On Aug 3, 2016, at 5:41 AM, Björn Forster via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> Hello Swift community,
> to make use of Swift more appealing and useful for science, engineering and finance and everything else involving actually calculating things, I think it would be a big step forward if Swift would ship with its own math/numerics library.
> Wouldn't it be great if Swift would offer functionality similar to Numpy in its native math lib? It think it would be great to have a "standard" annotation for vector arithmetic that the Swift community has agreed on and that scientific packages can build on.
> Which functionality should be covered by a Swift's math lib and where should be drawn the line?

Hi Björn,

This is one of many areas that we haven’t had time to really think about (specifically, how far the math portion of the Swift stdlib should go).  I think there is some general sentiment (e.g. expressed by Steve Canon) that Swift should eventually provide BigInt and robust decimal floating point support, but given the Swift 4 Stage 1 challenges in front of the standard library, we need to keep focused on that.  Extensions like that can be added at any time.

However, this isn’t something that really needs to be debated here: I’d strongly encourage you to start a project (e.g. on github) and try to build out some interesting things.  Once you have something interesting that works well, we can talk about whether it makes sense to incorporate some of the code or ideas into Swift, or whether it makes sense to be a standalone library.


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