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I prefer Common Lisp's way, where fractions are first class citizens. Pity it is not supported directly in hardware.

I'm not convinced supporting it in hardware would make it any faster, compared to doing what we do now with fast integer arithmetic and reasonable software algorithms. Hardware only makes things faster if there's some good parallelism you can't express in software, like doing integer addition using modern hardware versus doing it the long way bit-by-bit.

Here's a whole post on the issue by an actual hardware designer:



To see the limitations of hardware support, let's first look at what hardware can do to speed things up. Roughly, you can really only do two things:

1. Specialization - save dispatching costs in speed and energy.

2. Parallelization - save time, but not energy, by throwing more hardware at the job.

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