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SunOS man pages : bc (1)

User Commands                                               bc(1)


bc - arbitrary precision arithmetic language


bc [ -c ] [ -l ] [ file ... ]


The bc utility implements an arbitrary precision calculator. It takes input from any files given, then reads from the standard input. If the standard input and standard output to bc are attached to a terminal, the invocation of bc is interactive, causing behavioral constraints described in the following sections. bc processes a language that resembles C and is a preprocessor for the desk calculator program dc, which it invokes automatically unless the -c option is specified. In this case the dc input is sent to the stan- dard output instead.


The syntax for bc programs is as follows: L means a letter a-z, E means an expression: a (mathematical or logical) value, an operand that takes a value, or a combina- tion of operands and operators that evaluates to a value, S means a statement. Comments Enclosed in /* and */. Names (Operands) Simple variables: L. Array elements: L [ E ] (up to BC_DIM_MAX dimen- sions). The words ibase, obase (limited to BC_BASE_MAX), and scale (limited to BC_SCALE_MAX). Other Operands Arbitrarily long numbers with optional sign and decimal point. Strings of fewer than BC_STRING_MAX characters, between double quotes ("). ( E ) sqrt ( E ) Square root length ( E ) SunOS 5.8 Last change: 28 Mar 1995 1 User Commands bc(1) Number of significant decimal digits. scale ( E ) Number of digits right of decimal point. L ( E , ... , E ) Operators + - * / % ^ (% is remainder; ^ is power) ++ -- (prefix and postfix; apply to names) == <= >= != < > = =+ =- =* =/ =% =^ Statements E { S ;... ; S } if ( E ) S while ( E ) S for ( E ; E ; E ) S null statement break quit .string Function Definitions define L ( L ,..., L ) { auto L ,..., L S ;... S return ( E ) } Functions in -l Math Library s(x) sine c(x) cosine SunOS 5.8 Last change: 28 Mar 1995 2 User Commands bc(1) e(x) exponential l(x) log a(x) arctangent j(n,x) Bessel function 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 semicolons or new-lines may separate statements. Assignment to scale influences the number of digits to be retained on arithmetic operations in the manner of dc. Assignments to ibase or obase set the input and output number radix respectively. The same letter may be used as an array, a function, and a simple variable simultaneously. All variables are global to the program. auto variables are stacked during function calls. When using arrays as function arguments or defining them as automatic variables, empty square brackets must fol- low the array name.


The following operands are supported: -c Compile only. The output is dc commands that are sent to the standard output. -l Define the math functions and initialize scale to 20, instead of the default zero.


The following operands are supported: file A pathname of a text file containing bc program state- ments. After all cases of file have been read, bc will read the standard input.


Example 1: Setting the precision of a variable In the shell, the following assigns an approximation of the first ten digits of n to the variable x: x=$(printf "%s\n" 'scale = 10; 104348/33215' | bc) Example 2: Defining a computing function SunOS 5.8 Last change: 28 Mar 1995 3 User Commands bc(1) Defines a function to compute an approximate value of the exponential function: 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 } } Example 3: Printing the approximate values of the function Prints approximate values of the exponential function of the first ten integers: for(i=1; i<=10; i++) e(i) or for (i = 1; i <= 10; ++i) { e(i) }


See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of bc: LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.


The following exit values are returned: 0 All input files were processed successfully. unspecified An error occurred.


/usr/lib/lib.b mathematical library /usr/include/limits.h to define BC_ parameters


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri- butes: SunOS 5.8 Last change: 28 Mar 1995 4 User Commands bc(1) ____________________________________________________________ | ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE | |_____________________________|_____________________________| | Availability | SUNWesu | |_____________________________|_____________________________|


dc(1), awk(1), attributes(5)


The bc command does not recognize the logical operators && and ||. The for statement must have all three expressions (E's). SunOS 5.8 Last change: 28 Mar 1995 5