Algorithm used by BigInteger prime generator?

Per Bothner bothner at
Thu Apr 22 12:46:20 PDT 1999

> No my assumption was based on a conversation I had with
> the original author a couple of years ago...

Well, JDBC does use BigDecimal, and was presumably a motivator
for including it in JDK1.1.  I agree that geneating random primes
suggests crypto, and may have been a motivator for the
"original author" of BigInteger.  What you did not explain
was whether by "orginal author" you mean the person
who wrote a BigInteger class that java.math.BigInteger was
based on, if this pre-dates JDK1.1, or you mean the person at
JavaSoft who "owned" java.math in JDK1.1, or if they are the same person.

In any case, big numbers are useful for various applications,
inlcuding crypto.

It is important that the generated "random" values be the same
on all platforms, and that is difficult with Sun's missing
specifications.  (Even the specifications of in the
JLS is incomplete; classes not specified on the JLS often
are way under-specified.  And the Class Libraries books,
in additions to *not* being specifications, have lots of

	--Per Bothner
Cygnus Solutions     bothner at

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