An implementation of Unix dc and POSIX bc with GNU and BSD extensions
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2.7.2

This is a production release with one major bug fix.

The length() built-in function can take either a number or an array. If it takes an array, it returns the length of the array. Arrays can be passed by reference. The bug is that the length() function would not properly dereference arrays that were references. This is a bug that affects all users.

ALL USERS SHOULD UPDATE bc.

2.7.1

This is a production release with fixes for new locales and fixes for compiler warnings on FreeBSD.

2.7.0

This is a production release with a bug fix for Linux, new translations, and new features.

Bug fixes:

  • Option parsing in BC_ENV_ARGS was broken on Linux in 2.6.1 because glibc's getopt_long() is broken. To get around that, and to support long options on every platform, an adapted version of optparse was added. Now, bc does not even use getopt().
  • Parsing BC_ENV_ARGS with quotes now works. It isn't the smartest, but it does the job if there are spaces in file names.

The following new languages are supported:

  • Dutch
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Japanes
  • Simplified Chinese

All of these translations were generated using DeepL, so improvements are welcome.

There is only one new feature: bc now has a built-in pseudo-random number generator (PRNG).

The PRNG is seeded, making it useful for applications where /dev/urandom does not work because output needs to be reproducible. However, it also uses /dev/urandom to seed itself by default, so it will start with a good seed by default.

It also outputs 32 bits on 32-bit platforms and 64 bits on 64-bit platforms, far better than the 15 bits of C's rand() and bash's $RANDOM.

In addition, the PRNG can take a bound, and when it gets a bound, it automatically adjusts to remove bias. It can also generate numbers of arbitrary size. (As of the time of release, the largest pseudo-random number generated by this bc was generated with a bound of 2^(2^20).)

IMPORTANT: read the bc manual and the dc manual to find out exactly what guarantees the PRNG provides. The underlying implementation is not guaranteed to stay the same, but the guarantees that it provides are guaranteed to stay the same regardless of the implementation.

On top of that, four functions were added to bc's extended math library to make using the PRNG easier:

  • frand(p): Generates a number between [0,1) to p decimal places.
  • ifrand(i, p): Generates an integer with bound i and adds it to frand(p).
  • srand(x): Randomizes the sign of x. In other words, it flips the sign of x with probability 0.5.
  • brand(): Returns a random boolean value (either 0 or 1).

2.6.1

This is a production release with a bug fix for FreeBSD.

The bug was that when bc was built without long options, it would give a fatal error on every run. This was caused by a mishandling of optind.

2.6.0

This release is a production release with no bugfixes. If you do not want to upgrade, you don't have to.

No source code changed; the only thing that changed was lib2.bc.

This release adds one function to the extended math library: p(x, y), which calculates x to the power of y, whether or not y is an integer. (The ^ operator can only accept integer powers.)

This release also includes a couple of small tweaks to the extended math library, mostly to fix returning numbers with too high of scale.

2.5.3

This release is a production release which addresses inconsistencies in the Portuguese locales. No bc code was changed.

The issues were that the ISO files used different naming, and also that the files that should have been symlinks were not. I did not catch that because GitHub rendered them the exact same way.

2.5.2

This release is a production release.

No code was changed, but the build system was changed to allow CFLAGS to be given to CC, like this:

CC="gcc -O3 -march=native" ./configure.sh

If this happens, the flags are automatically put into CFLAGS, and the compiler is set appropriately. In the example above this means that CC will be "gcc" and CFLAGS will be "-O3 -march=native".

This behavior was added to conform to GNU autotools practices.

2.5.1

This is a production release which addresses portability concerns discovered in the bc build system. No bc code was changed.

  • Support for Solaris SPARC and AIX were added.
  • Minor documentations edits were performed.
  • An option for configure.sh was added to disable long options if getopt_long() is missing.

2.5.0

This is a production release with new translations. No code changed.

The translations were contributed by bugcrazy, and they are for Portuguese, both Portugal and Brazil locales.

2.4.0

This is a production release primarily aimed at improving dc.

  • A couple of copy and paste errors in the dc manual were fixed.
  • dc startup was optimized by making sure it didn't have to set up bc-only things.
  • The bc && and || operators were made available to dc through the M and m commands, respectively.
  • dc macros were changed to be tail call-optimized.

The last item, tail call optimization, means that if the last thing in a macro is a call to another macro, then the old macro is popped before executing the new macro. This change was made to stop dc from consuming more and more memory as macros are executed in a loop.

The q and Q commands still respect the "hidden" macros by way of recording how many macros were removed by tail call optimization.

2.3.2

This is a production release meant to fix warnings in the Gentoo ebuild by making it possible to disable binary stripping. Other users do not need to upgrade.

2.3.1

This is a production release. It fixes a bug that caused -1000000000 < -1 to return 0. This only happened with negative numbers and only if the value on the left was more negative by a certain amount. That said, this bug is a bad bug, and needs to be fixed.

ALL USERS SHOULD UPDATE bc.

2.3.0

This is a production release with changes to the build system.

2.2.0

This release is a production release. It only has new features and performance improvements.

  1. The performance of sqrt(x) was improved.
  2. The new function root(x, n) was added to the extended math library to calculate nth roots.
  3. The new function cbrt(x) was added to the extended math library to calculate cube roots.

2.1.3

This is a non-critical release; it just changes the build system, and in non-breaking ways:

  1. Linked locale files were changed to link to their sources with a relative link.
  2. A bug in configure.sh that caused long option parsing to fail under bash was fixed.

2.1.2

This release is not a critical release.

  1. A few codes were added to history.
  2. Multiplication was optimized a bit more.
  3. Addition and subtraction were both optimized a bit more.

2.1.1

This release contains a fix for the test suite made for Linux from Scratch: now the test suite prints pass when a test is passed.

Other than that, there is no change in this release, so distros and other users do not need to upgrade.

2.1.0

This release is a production release.

The following bugs were fixed:

  1. A dc bug that caused stack mishandling was fixed.
  2. A warning on OpenBSD was fixed.
  3. Bugs in ctrl+arrow operations in history were fixed.
  4. The ability to paste multiple lines in history was added.
  5. A bc bug, mishandling of array arguments to functions, was fixed.
  6. A crash caused by freeing the wrong pointer was fixed.
  7. A dc bug where strings, in a rare case, were mishandled in parsing was fixed.

In addition, the following changes were made:

  1. Division was slightly optimized.
  2. An option was added to the build to disable printing of prompts.
  3. The special case of empty arguments is now handled. This is to prevent errors in scripts that end up passing empty arguments.
  4. A harmless bug was fixed. This bug was that, with the pop instructions (mostly) removed (see below), bc would leave extra values on its stack for void functions and in a few other cases. These extra items would not affect anything put on the stack and would not cause any sort of crash or even buggy behavior, but they would cause bc to take more memory than it needed.

On top of the above changes, the following optimizations were added:

  1. The need for pop instructions in bc was removed.
  2. Extra tests on every iteration of the interpreter loop were removed.
  3. Updating function and code pointers on every iteration of the interpreter loop was changed to only updating them when necessary.
  4. Extra assignments to pointers were removed.

Altogether, these changes sped up the interpreter by around 2x.

NOTE: This is the last release with new features because this bc is now considered complete. From now on, only bug fixes and new translations will be added to this bc.

2.0.3

This is a production, bug-fix release.

Two bugs were fixed in this release:

  1. A rare and subtle signal handling bug was fixed.
  2. A misbehavior on 0 to a negative power was fixed.

The last bug bears some mentioning.

When I originally wrote power, I did not thoroughly check its error cases; instead, I had it check if the first number was 0 and then if so, just return 0. However, 0 to a negative power means that 1 will be divided by 0, which is an error.

I caught this, but only after I stopped being cocky. You see, sometime later, I had noticed that GNU bc returned an error, correctly, but I thought it was wrong simply because that's not what my bc did. I saw it again later and had a double take. I checked for real, finally, and found out that my bc was wrong all along.

That was bad on me. But the bug was easy to fix, so it is fixed now.

There are two other things in this release:

  1. Subtraction was optimized by Stefan Eßer.
  2. Division was also optimized, also by Stefan Eßer.

2.0.2

This release contains a fix for a possible overflow in the signal handling. I would be surprised if any users ran into it because it would only happen after 2 billion (2^31-1) SIGINT's, but I saw it and had to fix it.

2.0.1

This release contains very few things that will apply to any users.

  1. A slight bug in dc's interactive mode was fixed.
  2. A bug in the test suite that was only triggered on NetBSD was fixed.
  3. The -P/--no-prompt option was added for users that do not want a prompt.
  4. A make check target was added as an alias for make test.
  5. dc got its own read prompt: ?> .

2.0.0

This release is a production release.

This release is also a little different from previous releases. From here on out, I do not plan on adding any more features to this bc; I believe that it is complete. However, there may be bug fix releases in the future, if I or any others manage to find bugs.

This release has only a few new features:

  1. atan2(y, x) was added to the extended math library as both a2(y, x) and atan2(y, x).
  2. Locales were fixed.
  3. A POSIX shell-compatible script was added as an alternative to compiling gen/strgen.c on a host machine. More details about making the choice between the two can be found by running ./configure.sh --help or reading the build manual.
  4. Multiplication was optimized by using diagonal multiplication, rather than straight brute force.
  5. The locale_install.sh script was fixed.
  6. dc was given the ability to use the environment variable DC_ENV_ARGS.
  7. dc was also given the ability to use the -i or --interactive options.
  8. Printing the prompt was fixed so that it did not print when it shouldn't.
  9. Signal handling was fixed.
  10. Handling of SIGTERM and SIGQUIT was fixed.
  11. The built-in functions maxibase(), maxobase(), and maxscale() (the commands T, U, V in dc, respectively) were added to allow scripts to query for the max allowable values of those globals.
  12. Some incompatibilities with POSIX were fixed.

In addition, this release is 2.0.0 for a big reason: the internal format for numbers changed. They used to be a char array. Now, they are an array of larger integers, packing more decimal digits into each integer. This has delivered HUGE performance improvements, especially for multiplication, division, and power.

This bc should now be the fastest bc available, but I may be wrong.

1.2.8

This release contains a fix for a harmless bug (it is harmless in that it still works, but it just copies extra data) in the locale_install.sh script.

1.2.7

This version contains fixes for the build on Arch Linux.

1.2.6

This release removes the use of local in shell scripts because it's not POSIX shell-compatible, and also updates a man page that should have been updated a long time ago but was missed.

1.2.5

This release contains some missing locale *.msg files.

1.2.4

This release contains a few bug fixes and new French translations.

1.2.3

This release contains a fix for a bug: use of uninitialized data. Such data was only used when outputting an error message, but I am striving for perfection. As Michelangelo said, "Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."

1.2.2

This release contains fixes for OpenBSD.

1.2.1

This release contains bug fixes for some rare bugs.

1.2.0

This is a production release.

There have been several changes since 1.1.0:

  1. The build system had some changes.
  2. Locale support has been added. (Patches welcome for translations.)
  3. The ability to turn ibase, obase, and scale into stacks was added with the -g command-line option. (See the bc manual for more details.)
  4. Support for compiling on Mac OSX out of the box was added.
  5. The extended math library got t(x), ceil(x), and some aliases.
  6. The extended math library also got r2d(x) (for converting from radians to degrees) and d2r(x) (for converting from degrees to radians). This is to allow using degrees with the standard library.
  7. Both calculators now accept numbers in scientific notation. See the bc manual and the dc manual for details.
  8. Both calculators can output in either scientific or engineering notation. See the bc manual and the dc manual for details.
  9. Some inefficiencies were removed.
  10. Some bugs were fixed.
  11. Some bugs in the extended library were fixed.
  12. Some defects from Coverity Scan were fixed.

1.1.4

This release contains a fix to the build system that allows it to build on older versions of glibc.

1.1.3

This release contains a fix for a bug in the test suite where bc tests and dc tests could not be run in parallel.

1.1.2

This release has a fix for a history bug; the down arrow did not work.

1.1.1

This release fixes a bug in the 1.1.0 build system. The source is exactly the same.

The bug that was fixed was a failure to install if no EXECSUFFIX was used.

1.1.0

This is a production release. However, many new features were added since 1.0.

  1. The build system has been changed to use a custom, POSIX shell-compatible configure script (configure.sh) to generate a POSIX make-compatible Makefile, which means that bc and dc now build out of the box on any POSIX-compatible system.
  2. Out-of-memory and output errors now cause the bc to report the error, clean up, and die, rather than just reporting and trying to continue.
  3. Strings and constants are now garbage collected when possible.
  4. Signal handling and checking has been made more simple and more thorough.
  5. BcGlobals was refactored into BcVm and BcVm was made global. Some procedure names were changed to reflect its difference to everything else.
  6. Addition got a speed improvement.
  7. Some common code for addition and multiplication was refactored into its own procedure.
  8. A bug was removed where dc could have been selected, but the internal #define that returned true for a query about dc would not have returned true.
  9. Useless calls to bc_num_zero() were removed.
  10. History support was added. The history support is based off of a UTF-8 aware fork of linenoise, which has been customized with bc's own data structures and signal handling.
  11. Generating C source from the math library now removes tabs from the library, shrinking the size of the executable.
  12. The math library was shrunk.
  13. Error handling and reporting was improved.
  14. Reallocations were reduced by giving access to the request size for each operation.
  15. abs() (b command for dc) was added as a builtin.
  16. Both calculators were tested on FreeBSD.
  17. Many obscure parse bugs were fixed.
  18. Markdown and man page manuals were added, and the man pages are installed by make install.
  19. Executable size was reduced, though the added features probably made the executable end up bigger.
  20. GNU-style array references were added as a supported feature.
  21. Allocations were reduced.
  22. New operators were added: $ ($ for dc), @ (@ for dc), @=, << (H for dc), <<=, >> (h for dc), and >>=. See the bc manual and the dc manual for more details.
  23. An extended math library was added. This library contains code that makes it so I can replace my desktop calculator with this bc. See the bc manual for more details.
  24. Support for all capital letters as numbers was added.
  25. Support for GNU-style void functions was added.
  26. A bug fix for improper handling of function parameters was added.
  27. Precedence for the or (||) operator was changed to match GNU bc.
  28. dc was given an explicit negation command.
  29. dc was changed to be able to handle strings in arrays.

1.1 Release Candidate 3

This release is the eighth release candidate for 1.1, though it is the third release candidate meant as a general release candidate. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 Release Candidate 2

This release is the seventh release candidate for 1.1, though it is the second release candidate meant as a general release candidate. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 FreeBSD Beta 5

This release is the sixth release candidate for 1.1, though it is the fifth release candidate meant specifically to test if bc works on FreeBSD. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 FreeBSD Beta 4

This release is the fifth release candidate for 1.1, though it is the fourth release candidate meant specifically to test if bc works on FreeBSD. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 FreeBSD Beta 3

This release is the fourth release candidate for 1.1, though it is the third release candidate meant specifically to test if bc works on FreeBSD. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 FreeBSD Beta 2

This release is the third release candidate for 1.1, though it is the second release candidate meant specifically to test if bc works on FreeBSD. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 FreeBSD Beta 1

This release is the second release candidate for 1.1, though it is meant specifically to test if bc works on FreeBSD. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.1 Release Candidate 1

This is the first release candidate for 1.1. The new code has not been tested as thoroughly as it should for release.

1.0

This is the first non-beta release. bc is ready for production use.

As such, a lot has changed since 0.5.

  1. dc has been added. It has been tested even more thoroughly than bc was for 0.5. It does not have the ! command, and for security reasons, it never will, so it is complete.
  2. bc has been more thoroughly tested. An entire section of the test suite (for both programs) has been added to test for errors.
  3. A prompt (>>> ) has been added for interactive mode, making it easier to see inputs and outputs.
  4. Interrupt handling has been improved, including elimination of race conditions (as much as possible).
  5. MinGW and Windows Subsystem for Linux support has been added (see xstatic for binaries).
  6. Memory leaks and errors have been eliminated (as far as ASan and Valgrind can tell).
  7. Crashes have been eliminated (as far as afl can tell).
  8. Karatsuba multiplication was added (and thoroughly) tested, speeding up multiplication and power by orders of magnitude.
  9. Performance was further enhanced by using a "divmod" function to reduce redundant divisions and by removing superfluous memset() calls.
  10. To switch between Karatsuba and O(n^2) multiplication, the config variable BC_NUM_KARATSUBA_LEN was added. It is set to a sane default, but the optimal number can be found with karatsuba.py (requires Python 3) and then configured through make.
  11. The random math test generator script was changed to Python 3 and improved. bc and dc have together been run through 30+ million random tests.
  12. All known math bugs have been fixed, including out of control memory allocations in sine and cosine (that was actually a parse bug), certain cases of infinite loop on square root, and slight inaccuracies (as much as possible; see the README) in transcendental functions.
  13. Parsing has been fixed as much as possible.
  14. Test coverage was improved to 94.8%. The only paths not covered are ones that happen when malloc() or realloc() fails.
  15. An extension to get the length of an array was added.
  16. The boolean not (!) had its precedence change to match negation.
  17. Data input was hardened.
  18. bc was made fully compliant with POSIX when the -s flag is used or POSIXLY_CORRECT is defined.
  19. Error handling was improved.
  20. bc now checks that files it is given are not directories.

1.0 Release Candidate 7

This is the seventh release candidate for 1.0. It fixes a few bugs in 1.0 Release Candidate 6.

1.0 Release Candidate 6

This is the sixth release candidate for 1.0. It fixes a few bugs in 1.0 Release Candidate 5.

1.0 Release Candidate 5

This is the fifth release candidate for 1.0. It fixes a few bugs in 1.0 Release Candidate 4.

1.0 Release Candidate 4

This is the fourth release candidate for 1.0. It fixes a few bugs in 1.0 Release Candidate 3.

1.0 Release Candidate 3

This is the third release candidate for 1.0. It fixes a few bugs in 1.0 Release Candidate 2.

1.0 Release Candidate 2

This is the second release candidate for 1.0. It fixes a few bugs in 1.0 Release Candidate 1.

1.0 Release Candidate 1

This is the first Release Candidate for 1.0. bc is complete, with dc, but it is not tested.

0.5

This beta release completes more features, but it is still not complete nor tested as thoroughly as necessary.

0.4.1

This beta release fixes a few bugs in 0.4.

0.4

This is a beta release. It does not have the complete set of features, and it is not thoroughly tested.