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Re: Re: Mathematica frustrations...

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  • Subject: [mg11664] Re: [mg11612] Re: Mathematica frustrations...
  • From: Mark Evans <>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 18:35:03 -0500
  • Organization: None
  • References: <6cgf9k$> <6d0ah6$> <>

Anyone like YOU who relies that heavily on % and %n is going to draw
bugs like a pile of sugar.

What made Microsoft a gigantic success was their dispensing with the DOS
command line and their giving us some Windows to play with.

I think WRI is seeing the light with the new button and palette features
in Mathematica. Click, click instead of type, type.

I won't argue that % should disappear, but I disagree with the notion
that it can be "absolutely indispensable" or "essential" by any stretch
of the imagination.  IMHO that's just bad programming practice, too
fragile for words.  Add one line of code somewhere in your notebook and
all the %n's break next time you try to run it.

Maybe the new counter systems have a way around that...I would enjoy
being enlightened on the subject.  :-)


Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> Carlos A. Felippa (carlos@mars.Colorado.EDU) wrote:
> : The use of % is a legacy from the original In-Out days of interactive
> : command languages like Basic or Unix. It makes no sense for a Notebook
> : front end.
> In my work and my students' work with Mathematica we find the % and %%
> (and occasionally even %n) absolutely indispensable. The % saves one
> the aggravation of re-evaluating a cell and the annoyance of
> remembering to use Set (or SetDelayed) -- in symbolic = (or := form, of
> course) in a cell before evaluating it.
> : In fact it might be useful to get rid altogether of the In[ ] and Out[ ]
> : that still clutter cell boundaries since the numbers that appear
> : therein serve no useful purpose.
> I beg to differ: The numbers are essential in lots of computing that I
> and my students do.  The simplest, most direct thing one can sometimes
> do is go back to an earlier cell and re-evaluate it, after editing it
> directly or perhaps after editing and re-evaluating some other cell
> with relevant parameters.
> The very idea of removing functionality just because YOU don't use it is
> unjustified.  As is the idea of removing it because of particular
> historical origins.
> --
>   Murray Eisenberg                       Internet:
>   Mathematics & Statistics Dept.            Voice:  413-545-2859 (W)
>   University of Massachusetts                       413-549-1020 (H)
>   Amherst, MA 01003                           Fax:  413-545-1801

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