# What is the size limit for numbers in LC? -- and multiplying really large numbers

Mark Schonewille m.schonewille at economy-x-talk.com
Thu Sep 5 19:11:32 EDT 2013

Hi Geoff,

LiveCode will do calculations reliably on numbers that are no larger
than 15 digits, i.e. at most 999999999999999.

If you do a calculation like
1111111111111111111111111*2
--> 2222222222222222200000000
it is easy to see that the result is incorrect.

See page 34 of my book.

--
Best regards,

Mark Schonewille

Economy-x-Talk Consulting and Software Engineering
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On 9/6/2013 00:54, Geoff Canyon wrote:
> I've written bignum routines for addition and multiplication several times
> when solving project euler problems. Generally my multiplication functions
> bog down at about 200 digits -- i.e. take more than a second to run.
>
> I decided to optimize, and about a dozen iterations later, the below is the
> result. It will multiply two 5,000-digit numbers in about a second on my
> machine, and even 20,000 digit multiplication seems to work in about 15
> seconds or so (woot!).
>
> Here's the weird part. I would have said that LC numbers are 32 bit, and
> lose their minds at about 2 billion. The temp variable S in this function
> gets large, and I wrote many lines of code working around that. Then I ran
> some tests, and seemingly when multiplying a string of 20,0000 nines --
> 99999999...999999 -- even though S gets up to 499,949,990,000, all is well,
> and the result is correct. I wonder how large S can get before it
> overflows? I did some quick experiments without hitting a conclusive
> answer, and I don't see it in the docs or online.
>
> In the meantime, multiply really big integers here:
>
> function bigTimes X,Y
>     if char 1 of X is "-" then
>        put "-" into leadChar
>        delete char 1 of X
>     end if
>     if char 1 of Y is "-"  then
>        if leadChar is "-" then put empty into leadChar else put "-" into
>        delete char 1 of Y
>     end if
>     put (3 + length(X)) div 4 * 4 into XL
>     put char 1 to XL - length(X) of "000" before X
>     put (3 + length(Y)) div 4 * 4 into YL
>     put char 1 to YL - length(y) of "000" before y
>     repeat with N = XL + YL down to 9 step -4
>        repeat with M = max(4,N - YL) to min(XL,N - 4) step 4
>           add (char M - 3 to M of X) * (char N - M - 3 to N - M of Y) to S
>        end repeat
>        put char -4 to -1 of S before R
>        delete char -4 to -1 of S
>     end repeat
>     if S is 0 then put empty into S
>     return leadChar & S & R
> end bigTimes
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