Author: Laurence D. Finston

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Last updated: January 20, 2006.

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2005.12.06.

I have started working on functions and parser rules for prime
numbers. You can find the **n ^{th}** prime number by
using the

`get_prime`

operator:
ulong_long L; L := get_prime 24; show L; --> 89

It's also possible to store a range of prime numbers in a
`ulong_long_vector`

by using the
`get_prime_vector`

operator:

ulong_long_vector LV; LV := get_prime_vector 3 7; show LV; --> >> ulong_long_vector: size: 5 (0) : 5 (1) : 7 (2) : 11 (3) : 13 (4) : 17

In the fullness of time, I plan to add more functions for use with prime numbers. However, testing for primality and finding the prime factors of composite numbers are not easy tasks.

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The prime number functions involve a considerable amount of overhead.

**get_prime** returns a value of the type **ulong_long**, which
I've added especially for prime numbers. **ulong_long**
corresponds to the **unsigned long long** type in C and C++.
**numeric**, on the other hand, corresponds to either **float**
or **double**, depending on the value of a preprocessor variable
when 3DLDF is built. Currently, the default is **double**.

The problem with the floating point types **float** and
**double** is that they represent integers with limited
precision, whereas the integer types (**char**, **short**,
**int**, **long**, and **long long**, with their
**unsigned** variants) represent integers exactly.
I also wanted to be able to work with the largest possible
prime numbers, so I chose **unsigned long long** rather than
**unsigned int** or **unsigned long**. The prime numbers are
all positive, so there was no need to use **signed long long**.

The objects and functions for the prime numbers are declared in
**namespace Prime_Numbers**.
When **Prime_Numbers::get_prime()** is called for the first time, it causes a table
of prime numbers to be created. It is stored in a
**vector<unsigned long long>** pointed to by the pointer
**Prime_Numbers::primes_table**.
Just before **3dldf** exits, it writes a binary file called
**primes.lbn**, creates a checksum for it (stored in the
file **primes.lsm**), and
compresses it using **gzip** to create **primes.lbn.gz**. The
next time **3dldf** is run, it uncompresses **primes.lbn.gz**,
checks **primes.lbn** against the checksum, and if it hasn't been
corrupted, reads the values it contains into ***primes_table**.

If **get_prime** is called with an argument larger than the number
of primes already stored in **primes_table**, additional primes are
added up to and including the one specified by the argument. If this
occurs, **primes.lbn**, **primes.lbn.gz**, and **primes.lsm**
are regenerated at the end of the run, if they already exist. If they
don't already exist, they will be created. If they don't exist, and
**get_prime** is never called, they won't be created.

Since **3DLDF** uses threads, it's necessary to protect
**primes_table** and the associated files using mutexes.
It's also necessary to determine whether a system provides
**unsigned long long**. If it doesn't, **unsigned long** or
**unsigned int** is used instead. It is very unlikely that a
system wouldn't provide **unsigned long**.
In addition, it's necessary to check what functions are available for
creating checksums, and whether **gzip** is available for compression.

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