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MathGroup Archive 2000

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

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg26286] Re: [mg26244] Big trouble with Mathematica Code parsing -- Rant.
  • From: "Carl K. Woll" <carlw at u.washington.edu>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 00:19:57 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200012060716.CAA27629@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Hi Louis,

I agree that Wolfram needs to improve the parser behind StandardForm, as
I've had numerous problems using StandardForm myself. However, most of these
parsing problems were eliminated when I set the option ShortBoxForm to false
in the option inspector. Have you tried doing this? You mention changing Set
Save to Box Form to False; did you mean set ShortBoxForm to false here?

If setting ShortBoxForm to false doesn't help you, then you may want to
consider using InputForm rather than StandardForm as your default input
type. I don't believe I've ever had a parsing problem when I've used
InputForm as the input default (I admit that I don't use InputForm very
often).

Carl Woll
Physics Dept
U of Washington

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis M. Pecora" <pecora at anvil.nrl.navy.mil>
To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
Subject: [mg26286] [mg26244] Big trouble with Mathematica Code parsing -- Rant.


> [[ 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.
>



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