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Options for Cell: Why are some of these System symbols and others not?


Recently, I was stymied when a function that I had defined in a package
did not work properly.  The function was designed to copy, from an open
notebook, a Cell[] expression representing a closed cell in the
notebook, and to create a new cell in the notebook, based on the closed
cell, but with two Cell options modified: CellTags->"xxxx" was to be
replaced by CellTags->"yyyy", and CellOpen->False was to be replaced by
CellOpen->True.  The change in the CellTags option worked correctly,
but the change in the CellOpen option did not.

After much experimentation, I discovered why:  CellTags is a System
symbol, but CellOpen is not -- so my package created its own CellOpen
symbol in its own context.

This solved my problem, but out of curiosity I then looked at the
intersection (and the complement) of (i) a list of all options for Cell
and (ii) a list of all System symbols.  I found that, of the 144
options for Cell in Mathematica 3.0, 76 are System symbols and the
other 68 are not.

Does anyone know why this is?

Robert Lawrence


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