[swift-evolution] TrigonometricFloatingPoint/MathFloatingPoint protocol?

Taylor Swift kelvin13ma at gmail.com
Wed Aug 2 18:29:01 CDT 2017

See, my problem with statements like this one, is that the answer “should
be supported as a third-party library” can also be interpreted as “not my
problem, go figure it out yourselves”. The idea that central entity can
only pay attention to what they want to, and the Community™ will magically
take care of the rest is one of the most pervasive, and untrue, myths about
open source. What’s worse, is that Swift has the benefit of hindsight, in
the form of many, many examples of languages that came before and fell
victim to this fallacy, and now have 15 competing “private” classes for
basic mathematical objects like *vectors*.

I agree that a core math library, for example, *could* in theory be
supported as a third-party library. But this will never happen on its own,
for reasons that I will reiterate here:

- no one influential enough has bothered to jump start any such project
- there are no avenues to encourage members of the community to come
together and organize a project (look how this thread got derailed!)
- there is no “soft” infrastructure in place to support such collaboration
(look at the fuss over discourse and mailing list spam!)
- there are no positive feedback loops whereby a promising project can gain
market share and mature
- because there is no organization backing these projects, potential users
are reluctant to depend on these libraries, since they will logically bet
that the library is more likely to fall out of maintenance than reach
- everyone works on their own in-house “half-assed” implementation, and
people are not encouraged to come together and pool resources so instead
there is a lot of duplicated work

On Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:42 PM, Xiaodi Wu <xiaodi.wu at gmail.com> wrote:

> I agree that if this would require compiler support, then it needs to be
> part of the standard library. However, I don't see anything about what you
> describe that cannot be supported as a third-party library.
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