Counting from zero

Tom Phoenix rootbeer at
Mon May 1 19:10:39 UTC 2006

On 5/1/06, Cesare Marilungo <cesare at> quoted me:

> > Although it's not necessarily natural to count from zero, there are
> > good reasons to teach when, why, and how to count from zero.

> Tom, your argument is a little misleading to me. You can use 0 as a
> number wherever you want in Smalltalk.

It looks as if you thought the subject of my posting had something to
do with the design of Smalltalk. No; my posting was about counting
from zero, a mathematical idea. This mathematical idea is discussed
frequently in Smalltalk discussion groups, often by people who
advocate changing the language and those who oppose it. But I was
discussing it in the abstract, as a mathematical idea that's worth
teaching all by itself, even if you don't want to use counting from
zero for any particular purpose in your favorite programming language.

Sorry for the confusion.

--Tom Phoenix

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