On Feb 8, 2006, at 23:35, Claudio Jeker wrote:

> I don't believe that 0 is originating from programming languages but
> actually came from the boolean algebra itself.

Right, I'll put it simply:

The symbols used in Boolean algebra to indicate true and false values  
are the same symbols as those used to indicate the arithmetic integer  
values 1 and 0.  This does not mean that those symbols represent the  
same things, or are equivalent in any way apart from their shape.

Any two-element Boolean algebra (and there are many of them) is  
equally valid using {a, b}, {t, f}, or even {larry, bob} as the  
elements.  Various algebras also use symbols like + and * for things  
other than addition and multiplication.

If you still don't think that integer 0-is-false is a peculiarity of  
the C-heritage languages, check out the following Lisp fragments:

   (eql NIL 0)
   NIL

   (if 0 'true 'false)
   TRUE

matthew smillie.





----
Matthew Smillie            <M.B.Smillie / sms.ed.ac.uk>
Institute for Communicating and Collaborative Systems
University of Edinburgh