Re: Readability confuses mathematica?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg44633] Re: Readability confuses mathematica?
- From: Paul Abbott <paul at physics.uwa.edu.au>
- Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 06:42:07 -0500 (EST)
- Organization: The University of Western Australia
- References: <email@example.com>
- Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
In article <bpa1q2$19m$1 at smc.vnet.net>, Bill Rowe <readnewscix at mail.earthlink.net> wrote: > On 11/15/03 at 2:05 AM, akoz at mimuw.edu.pl (Andrzej Kozlowski) wrote: > > > I am still not convinced that TraditionalForm makes good input. It > > hides too much of the underlying Mathematica code, It doesn't really hide it -- you can always select the cell and do Convert To InputForm or StandardForm > > makes it difficult to copy and paste cells Only if your input and ouput formats are different > > and, it seems to me, is more prone to corruption. This was certainly true in 3.0 and, to some extent in 4.x. But I find it to be very stable now. > > Besides, I do tend to think of input and output as > > performing a different role, with input being essentially "source > > code". You can always type in using InputForm style into a TraditionalForm input cell. > > Even when I teach undergraduate classes I prefer StandardForm > > for input, since it reveals much more of the Mathematica programming > > language and hence is more instructive. So it seems to me that the > > mixed form (Standard for input, Traditional for output) is the most > > natural setup. But, unfortunately, the most problematic combination. > To add to Andrzej's point I offer the following quotes from the Mathematica > Book > > from section 1.0.9 > > "The basic idea of StandardForm is to provide a precise but elegant > representation of Mathematica expressions, making use of special characters, > two-dimensional positioning and so on." > > and > > "But you should understand that TraditionlForm is intended primarily for > output: it does not have the kind of precision that is needed to provide > reliabile input to Mathematica" Actually, this is not true! I use it all the time and in a perfectly reliable and unambiguous way. Indeed, I introduce TraditionalForm to my undergraduate students and the Notebooks I use have a StyleSheet which makes TraditionalForm the default input and output format. > It seems to me this strongly argues for using StandardForm as the default > input and TraditionalForm as the defualt output. For me the clear advantage > of this setup is I can be more certain of the input Mathematica is getting > and readily share my results with colleagues unfamiliar with Mathematica. But you can always select all of your input cells and convert them to StandardForm (or InputForm). Cheers, Paul -- Paul Abbott Phone: +61 8 9380 2734 School of Physics, M013 Fax: +61 8 9380 1014 The University of Western Australia (CRICOS Provider No 00126G) 35 Stirling Highway Crawley WA 6009 mailto:paul at physics.uwa.edu.au AUSTRALIA http://physics.uwa.edu.au/~paul