I'm going to offer a bit of clarification to my earlier comment, since some of it was misinterpreted.

First, what I'm proposing is not intended to affect the machine-native types at all; the proposal is strictly concerning the boxed types.

Second, I was not suggesting that all non-integer numeric support be punted to CPAN.

Third, I was not suggesting that users would have to say things like "use Num::Float" in order to do basic things.

Treating the support as an "extension" still allows it to be distributed with Perl itself, and imported by default.

My suggestion is fundamentally about how we might conceptualize the matter of where non-integer numerics fit in the language.

By conceptualizing them as being more on the fringes rather than the inner circle, it allows us to make the associated feature set "bigger" without feeling like we're bloating the core, which includes possibly splitting and extending Num (and Complex) up into several more distinct types with their own specified semantics, eg rational vs float.

In short, it frees us more to not try and shoehorn a complicated matter into a small space to "avoid bloat", but give it its own space.

I hope that helps.

-- Darren Duncan

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