Re: Big trouble with Mathematica Code parsing -- Rant.

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg26254] Re: [mg26244] Big trouble with Mathematica Code parsing -- Rant.*From*: Jean-Marie THOMAS <jmt at agat.net>*Date*: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 00:19:30 -0500 (EST)*References*: <200012060716.CAA27629@smc.vnet.net>*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

I met the same kind of problems when writing notebooks designed to generate .m files, using the InitializationCell feature. I came to the conclusion the parser converting cells has some weaknesses : - if the cell is quite long (for instance a CompoundExpression), the nesting of expression fails and it is necessary to add parenthesis pairs ; - if the cell contains too many boxed expressions, the parsing fails and it is necessary to suppress boxes and replace them with one-dimensional expressions. Conclusion : when writing a package, check the generated file. If it contains input form data, modify the notebook. On Wednesday 06 December 2000 08:16, Louis M. Pecora wrote: [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]] {\RANT ON} I have just spent another 3 hours debugging Mathematica code that, for some reason unclear to me, insists on putting Null's into the return values, as in 2 Null Return[{1.0,2.9}] (in which the numbers are right, but the Null's don't belong) Rather than just returning {1.0,2.9} Where are they coming from? Beats me. This is the third time in the last month or so that I've spent the better part of a day (a few days in some cases) trying hard to figure why Mathematica parses my code in a brain-dead way. Beware. Adding white space and blank lines for readability can cause Null's to appear and other problems. I suspect this is partly related to the fact that space can be taken as a multiplication, but eliminating spaces and blank lines may not cure the problem. I know. I've tried. I've done things such as copy the code into a text editor then right back to Mathematica and then it works...until I change something or open up the file later and try to use it. Then I may get a syntax error or just more Nulls, again. Sometimes recopying the code out and in will fix it, again. Sometimes not. But what a Kludge! Mathematica is doing things behind the scenes to the text in its parsing and it messes stuff up. Mathematica Support have responded with hints such as Set Save in Box Form to False, eliminate white space (there goes readability), make sure all lines end in ";" (that one, at least, makes sense). I've done it all and still have problems. It is ridiculous when one of the most powerful sofeware packages in the world cannot parse code correctly. It cannot handle simple, clear white space correctly. And it insists on changing things which cause failures. These are not feature or even bugs. They are FLAWS. Maybe it's the automatic indenting. I don't know. I am totally frustrated. If anyone knows of anyway to turn off or on some setting to get this program to just handle my code sensibly, PLEASE let me know. I hope Wolfram is listening. There is a serious upgrade-FIX needed for Mathematica 4.0. Right now I would not recommend this program to anyone in my lab. {\RANT OFF} My views are my own.

**References**:**Big trouble with Mathematica Code parsing -- Rant.***From:*"Louis M. Pecora" <pecora@anvil.nrl.navy.mil>