[rust-dev] No range integer type? Saftey beyond memory?

Daniel Micay danielmicay at gmail.com
Tue Apr 23 17:32:27 PDT 2013

On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> Certainly there are cases where any performance hit is not really
> acceptable, but I imagine that most uses of integers are not these
> places. The alternative of "use a full bignum" seems inelegant
> especially if the bignum comes with a big performance/memory/icache
> hit even in places where a Sufficiently Smart compiler could
> statically prove that a regular integer would suffice.

With a flexible integer type like the one used in CPython, the
compiler is free to eliminate the branch for handling the big integer
variant and the one for catching overflow. It's only really a
cache/memory hit where it has to be (an extra word for the enum
variant isn't that bad) but I doubt it will be able to eliminate the
runtime cost most of the time.

I don't think there's anything wrong with offering it as a library
type. I just wish the integer literals were overloadable so it could
be as first-class as the other integer types.

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