man(1) Manual page archive

     bc - arbitrary precision interactive language

     bc [ -l ] [ file ... ]

     Bc is an interactive processor for a language which resem-
     bles C but provides unlimited precision arithmetic.  It
     takes input from any files given, then reads the standard
     input.  The `-l' argument stands for the name of a library
     of mathematical subroutines which contains sine (named `s'),
     cosine (`c'), arctangent (`a'), natural logarithm (`l'), and
     exponential (`e').  The syntax for bc programs is as fol-
     lows; E means expression, S means statement.

           are enclosed in /* and */.

           letters a-z
           array elements: letter[E]
           The words `ibase', `obase', and `scale'

     Other operands
           arbitrarily long numbers with optional sign and deci-
           mal point.
           ( E )
           sqrt ( E )
           <letter> ( E   , ... , E )

           +  -  *  /  %  ^
           ++   --         (prefix and postfix; apply to names)
           ==  <=  >=  !=  <  >
           =  =+  =-  =*  =/  =%  =^

           { S ; ... ; S }
           if ( E ) S
           while ( E ) S
           for ( E ; E ; E ) S
           null statement

     Function definitions are exemplified by
           define <letter> ( <letter> ,..., <letter> ) {
                 auto <letter>,   ... , <letter>
                 S; ... S
                 return ( E )


     All function arguments are passed by value.

     The value of a statement that is an expression is printed
     unless the main operator is an assignment.  Either semi-
     colons or newlines may separate statements.  Assignment to
     scale influences the number of digits to be retained on
     arithmetic operations.  Assignments to ibase or obase set
     the input and output number radix respectively.

     The same letter may be used as an array name, a function
     name, and a simple variable simultaneously.  `Auto' vari-
     ables are saved and restored during function calls.  All
     other variables are global to the program.  When using
     arrays as function arguments or defining them as automatic
     variables empty square brackets must follow the array name.

     For example

     scale = 20
     define e(x){
             auto a, b, c, i, s
             a = 1
             b = 1
             s = 1
             for(i=1; 1==1; i++){
                     a = a*x
                     b = b*i
                     c = a/b
                     if(c == 0) return(s)
                     s = s+c

     defines a function to compute an approximate value of the
     exponential function and

             for(i=1; i<=10; i++) e(i)

     prints approximate values of the exponential function of the
     first ten integers.

     /usr/lib/lib.b  mathematical library

     dc (I), C Reference Manual, ``BC - An Arbitrary Precision
     Desk-Calculator Language.''

     No &&, | | yet.
     for statement must have all three E's
     quit is interpreted when read, not when executed.