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Encyclopedia > Prefix notation

Polish notation, also known as prefix notation was created by Jan Łukasiewicz. Operators are placed before operands.

 + 1 2 

Yields (as expected) 3.


It is not limited to only two values, nor to just addition.

 (* (+ 0 1) (+ 2 3)) 

Returns 5.


While the examples above use parantheses, one of the benefits of Polish notation is that, assuming the arity of each operator is known, parentheses are unnecessary: the order of operations is unique and easy to determine, if the expression is known to be correct. For example, assuming * and + are binary,

 * + 0 1 + 2 3 

can refer only to

 (* (+ 0 1) (+ 2 3)) 

Polish notation is used in computer programming languages Lisp, Scheme (based on Lisp), and some others.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
PHP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1746 words)
Variables are prefixed with a dollar symbol and no type need be specified in advance.
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The skew.org XML Tutorial (8463 words)
This notation is described briefly in section 6 of the spec.
There is also a rarely-used declaration called a notation, which creates a name-location pair that can be used to signal to an application that a parsed character data section is to be interpreted as having some kind of additional encoding, such as Base64 or PostScript.
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