Thread: Really quick (Probably just stupid) question...

  1. #1
    Registered User Queatrix's Avatar
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    Apr 2005

    Really quick (Probably just stupid) question...

    What does the % really do anyway? Like when you use it like func()%5;.

  2. #2
    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    It's called the modulus, or modulo, operator. It returns the remainder of one integer divided by another. So 12%5 is 2, because 12/5 is 2 r 2.

    [edit] Check out the tutorial! [/edit]

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  3. #3
    Mad OnionKnight's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Umeň, Sweden
    Note that modulus and remainder are only the same in the case where both operands are positive values. Other than that a modulus b is basically a as it wraps around (i.e. goes back to 0) as it reaches the limit b, like how a clock goes back to 0 after reaching 12. You can think of a as the distance something travels around a ring with a circumference of b, starting at 0, and a modulus b being the position it stops at.
    a modulus b can be calculated by adding/subtracting a with b until it's clamped in the range of 0 to b.

    Yes Wikipedia probably explains it better.

    [EDIT] Some test values from the Ruby interpreter.
    12% 5 => 2
    12%-5 => -3
    -12% 5 => 3
    -12%-5 => -2

    12.remainder( 5) => 2
    12.remainder(-5) => 2
    -12.remainder( 5) => -2
    -12.remainder(-5) => -2

    [EDIT2] Creepy, I just noticed that dwks used 12 and 5 as well :O [/EDIT2]
    Last edited by OnionKnight; 06-21-2007 at 06:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    The x86 processor automatically calculates both the modulus and division when performing division. Good compilers can make calculations involving both very efficient.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Sep 2006
    If either operand of % is negative, the sign of the result is machine-dependent. The div() and ldiv() functions can be used to compute the quotient and remainder simultaneously (though the compiler may be able to achieve the same thing without them).

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