Steven Lumos wrote:
> SonOfLilit <sonoflilit / gmail.com> writes:
>> I disagree. Zero based arrays are natural to a mathematician, and
>> programmers tend to be mathematicians.
> 
> No! This is a systematic lie used to defend a convention that was
> adopted for purely practical reasons.  It's like claiming that
> segmented memory is more natural to mathematicians.  Mathematicians
> and even Computer Scientists consistently use 1, e.g.
> 
>   x_1, x_2, ..., x_n

If you're working in set theory, you get in the habit of 0 based 
indexing, because then the index set is an ordinal number, i.e. ordinal 
n = {0, ..., n-1}.

In other branches (esp. algebra), it has the advantage that you can 
treat the indexes as a cyclic group, do modular arithmetic, etc.

In general, 0 based indexing makes it easier to make the leap from a 
list of variables to a function with a natural domain.

-- 
       vjoel : Joel VanderWerf : path berkeley edu : 510 665 3407