LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

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Richard Russell
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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by Richard Russell » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:02 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:48 pm
LN entry at Wiktionary.
It states "The first use of ln is attributed to New York-born Irving Stringham in 1983. This is beyond historical doubt". It means 1893, probably, but if that is indicative of the overall accuracy of the article I'd take the rest of it with a pinch of salt!

Overall I'm rather relieved that the ZX81 used LN a year or so before BBC BASIC did. I don't need to worry that the BBC made a terrible mistake!

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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by Coeus » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:13 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:18 pm
So one thing that I have noticed, is the U.K. computer companies mostly use LN. Whereas the U.S.A. and international companies use LOG.
From that list, that is indeed true but aren't all the UK companies on that list based in Cambridge? Is that something that started there? I wonder what other UK companies did? What about the Dragon (Wales?), the Superbrain etc.

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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by Coeus » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:19 pm

Richard Russell wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:02 pm
It states "The first use of ln is attributed to New York-born Irving Stringham in 1983. This is beyond historical doubt". It means 1893, probably, but if that is indicative of the overall accuracy of the article I'd take the rest of it with a pinch of salt!
To be clear, it is not the Wikionary entry with this glaring mistake but the comment on PhysicsForum made by a forum member.

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roland
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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by roland » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:59 am

For what's worth it: the Atom floating point rom has:
Atomic Theory And Practise wrote:LOG Natural logarithm
Returns the natural logarithm of its argument.
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roland
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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by roland » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:14 am

Richard Russell wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:02 pm
It states "The first use of ln is attributed to New York-born Irving Stringham in 1983. This is beyond historical doubt". It means 1893, probably, but if that is indicative of the overall accuracy of the article I'd take the rest of it with a pinch of salt!
It must be 1893 because Irving died in 1909:
Wikipedia wrote:Washington Irving Stringham (December 10, 1847 – October 5, 1909) was a "Professor of Mathematics and Sometime Dean in the University of California"[1] born in Yorkshire, New York.
FPGAtom: 512 KB RAM, Real Time Clock and 64 colours
MAN WOMAN :shock:

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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by scruss » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:11 pm

Coeus wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:13 pm
… What about the Dragon (Wales?), the Superbrain etc.
Dragons had Microsoft BASIC in ROM, so they have LOG for natural logarithm. BASIC09 for OS-9, though, has LOG for natural and LOG10 for decimal logarithms.

The Newbrain BASIC had LOG for natural logarithm. Superbrains were CP/M things, so mostly with the crowd.

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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by Coeus » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:42 pm

roland wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:59 am
For what's worth it: the Atom floating point rom has:
Atomic Theory And Practise wrote:LOG Natural logarithm
Returns the natural logarithm of its argument.
So Acorn change between the Atom and the BBC micro and Atom BASIC was considered too quirky to be transferred unchanged to the BBC micro!
scruss wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:11 pm
Coeus wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:13 pm
… What about the Dragon (Wales?), the Superbrain etc.
Dragons had Microsoft BASIC in ROM, so they have LOG for natural logarithm. BASIC09 for OS-9, though, has LOG for natural and LOG10 for decimal logarithms.

The Newbrain BASIC had LOG for natural logarithm. Superbrains were CP/M things, so mostly with the crowd.
So it is beginning to look like LN as natural log, and therefore LOG as log10 started with Sinclair and then Acorn copied it. JGH mentioned that the BBC BASIC convention was consistent with electronic calculators of the time and it since occurred to me that Sinclair made electronic calculators before the made the XZ80 so maybe that's the explanation: Sinclair made his BASIC compatible with his electronic calculators and Acorn made their BASIC compatible with his.
Last edited by Coeus on Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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1024MAK
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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:19 pm

I’ve read through the manuals for two of Sinclair’s calculators, they don’t have a natural logarithm function, only a logarithm base 10 function. Presumably due to the limits of the technology he was using at the time.

And the MK14 did not have BASIC. The ZX80 only had an integer BASIC (no floating point numbers).

However, it is possible that Sinclair got LN from competitors calculators or from mathematics.

Mark

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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by Rich Talbot-Watkins » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:54 pm

Another idle thought on this - if the BBC had wanted to provide both types of log functions, but kept LOG compatible with MS BASIC to mean natural log, what could they have called log base 10? LOG10 wouldn't have worked, because BBC BASIC, unusually, doesn't require maths function arguments to be in parentheses (something which I really like, by the way). Seems to me that LN and LOG were the clearest names they could have chosen.

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Re: LOG and LN lack of standardisation?

Post by jgharston » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:02 pm

Rich Talbot-Watkins wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:54 pm
Another idle thought on this - if the BBC had wanted to provide both types of log functions, but kept LOG compatible with MS BASIC to mean natural log, what could they have called log base 10? LOG10 wouldn't have worked, because BBC BASIC, unusually, doesn't require maths function arguments to be in parentheses (something which I really like, by the way). Seems to me that LN and LOG were the clearest names they could have chosen.
While having digits in tokens is possible (to the tokeniser it's just like having ( or $ in a token), it would make for really weird reading. result=LOG1030 yer wot? cf five hundred pound notes vs five hundred pound notes. ;)

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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