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Programming in Lua | ||

Part III. The Standard Libraries Chapter 18. The Mathematical Library |

In this chapter (and in the other chapters about the standard libraries), my purpose is not to give the complete specification of each function, but to show you what kind of functionality the library can provide. I may omit some subtle options or behaviors for clarity of exposition. The main idea is to spark your curiosity, which can then be satisfied by the reference manual.

The `math`

library comprises a standard
set of mathematical functions,
such as trigonometric functions
(`sin`

, `cos`

, `tan`

, `asin`

, `acos`

, etc.),
exponentiation and logarithms (`exp`

,
`log`

, `log10`

), rounding functions (`floor`

,
`ceil`

), `max`

, `min`

,
plus a variable `pi`

.
The mathematical library also defines the operator ``^`

´
to work as the exponentiation operator.

All trigonometric functions work in radians.
(Until Lua 4.0, they worked in degrees.)
You can use the functions `deg`

and `rad`

to convert
between degrees and radians.
If you want to work in degrees,
you can redefine the trigonometric functions:

local sin, asin, ... = math.sin, math.asin, ... local deg, rad = math.deg, math.rad math.sin = function (x) return sin(rad(x)) end math.asin = function (x) return deg(asin(x)) end ...

The `math.random`

function generates pseudo-random numbers.
We can call it in three ways.
When we call it without arguments,
it returns a pseudo-random real number
with uniform distribution in the interval *[0,1)*.
When we call it with only one argument,
an integer *n*,
it returns an integer pseudo-random
number *x* such that *1 <= x <= n*.
For instance, you can simulate the result of a
die with `random(6)`

.
Finally, we can call `random`

with two integer arguments,
*l* and *u*,
to get a pseudo-random integer *x* such that
*l <= x <= u*.

You can set a seed for the pseudo-random generator with the
`randomseed`

function;
its only numeric argument is the seed.
Usually, when a program starts,
it initializes the generator with a fixed seed.
That means that, every time you run your program,
it generates the same sequence of pseudo-random numbers.
For debugging, that is a nice property;
but in a game, you will have the same scenario over and over.
A common trick to solve this problem is to use the current time
as a seed:

math.randomseed(os.time())(The

`os.time`

function returns a number that
represents the current time,
usually as the number of seconds since some epoch.)

Copyright © 2003–2004 Roberto Ierusalimschy. All rights reserved. |