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

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  • Subject: [mg26334] Re: [mg26288] Re: [mg26244] Big trouble with Mathematica Code parsing -- Rant.
  • From: Jacqueline Zizi <jazi at>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 02:54:47 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <009901c06351$57582870$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Thanks for your explanations that I believe I understand even if, I'm sorry, I
never looked at a printed circuit board. We don't have to look at that in our
studies in France.  And I have much more curiosity for very abstract things or
else, cooking and apple pies.  The pronounciation klooj is very near the French
word "clou" that means nail in American.

For me a P.S. is just a little thing that is not important enough to be put in
the body of a letter, so I'm not so sure about your question.  I should say no.
Did I understand you well?

Jacqueline Zizi

Mark Harder wrote:

> Jacqueline Zizi writes:
> >PS Kludge is missing in my dictionary. What does that means?
>     Have you ever looked at a printed circuit board, noticed one or maybe
> more small wires going from point to point on the board, instead of the
> copper traces inside the board that are supposed to do the job of wiring,
> and wondered why the board was made that way?  Legend has it that electronic
> technicians, probably American, started calling such a thing a "kludge" --
> pronounced "klooj".  I doubt very much that the term comes from Latin, or
> Greek, or French, or Sanskrit.  I guess "kludge" was invented as a sort of
> mental onomatopoiea. The word, in English anyway, looks and sounds as clumsy
> and inelegant as the thing it describes -- namely, a relatively inexpensive
> way to fix a printed circuit that was not designed right in the first place.
>     So the term came to be applied to software, and is loaded with negative
> value judgement -- the perfect programmer either designs a program to work
> in the first place, or fixes the fundamental logic of the program when she
> notices something wrong.  That is why there are no kludges in Mathematica,
> only "fixes" or "work-arounds" ;-} .
> -mark harder
> p.s. Come to think of it, a p.s. to a letter could be described as a kind of
> kludge, don't you think?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jacqueline Zizi <jazi at>
To: mathgroup at
> To: mathgroup at <mathgroup at>
> Date: Saturday, December 09, 2000 10:20 PM
> Subject: [mg26334] [mg26288] Re: [mg26244] Big trouble with Mathematica Code
> parsing -- Rant.
> >I never used Return before to day and I would like to understand what
> >happens.
> >
> >I can't get it from your long tirade.
> >
> >Please give your code so that we can reproduce your "Big Trouble"
> >
> >
> >Jacqueline Zizi
> >
> >PS Kludge is missing in my dictionary. What does that means?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> >
> >"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.
> >
> >
> >

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